How to Treat Jaundice in New Born Baby

June 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

How to treat jaundice in new born babyJaundice is a common condition in infants, affecting over 50% of all newborns. Jaundice is common for premature babies- more often in boys than girls. It appears mostly in the first week of life.

Infant jaundice is also known as physiological jaundice , a condition in which the baby’s skin, and the sclera (white part of the eye) appears yellow.

Symptoms of jaundice in new born baby

Apart from yellowing skin and eyes, other symptoms of infant jaundice include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor sucking/feeding
  • Itchy skin
  • Pale stools – breastfed babies should have greenish-yellow stools, while those of bottle fed babies should be a greenish-mustard color.
  • Dark urine – a newborn’s urine should be colorless

Causes for jaundice in new born baby

A baby in the womb is totally dependent on his/her mother for food and oxygen, which reach the umbilical cord that connects him/her to the mother. The distribution of oxygen through the baby’s body is aided by the additional red blood cells present in the baby’s blood. After birth, the baby begins to breathe through his/her lungs and hence, does not need the additional red blood cells. His/her body will start disposing off the extra cells, soon after birth. These red blood cells are destroyed in spleen. A major by-product, thus produced, is bilirubin. The liver removes the bilirubin from the bloodstream and passes it on to the intestines of the baby.

Since the infant’s liver is still in its developing stage, it is unable to manage the sudden increase in bilirubin, during the first few days post birth. As a result, large amounts of bilirubin mixes in the blood, thereby, making the baby’s skin appear yellowish, which is a symptom of jaundice. During pregnancy the fetus’ blood bilirubin is removed by the mother’s liver. Although it is natural to find newborns suffering from jaundice in the first few days post birth, a high concentration of bilirubin in the blood is considered a serious case. In such a situation, you should get the condition monitored by the doctor.

There are several underlying factors for jaundice in new born baby. Some reasons include:

  • Liver disease.
  • An abnormality of the baby’s red blood cells.
  • Blocked bile duct or bowel.
  • Sepsis – a blood infection.
  • Rhesus incompatibility – when the mother and baby have different blood types, the mother’s antibodies attack the baby’s red blood cells.
  • Enzyme deficiency.
  • Bacterial or viral infections.
  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid gland.
  • Hepatitis – an inflammation of the liver.

Treating jaundice in new born baby

  • Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of bilirubin in the blood of the newborn, because mother’s milk contains some of the important nutrients required for the development of the baby’s functional organs. Initiate the breastfeeding relationship as soon as possible after birth. Breast-feed your baby every two hours post birth. Frequent feeding can help the baby pass the excess bilirubin through his poop and thus, reduce the jaundice symptoms.
  • Sunbath is an effective remedy to treat jaundice in newborns. Remove the clothes of your baby and place him/her under direct sunlight or in a warm room for about 10 minutes. The best time to sunbathe the baby is early morning hours, between 7 am and 8 am. Lay your baby on a blanket, under the window, so that the sun’s rays bathe his/her entire body. Be sure to block your newborn’s to avoid direct sunlight.
  • How to treat jaundice in new born babyIn case the levels of bilirubin in your infant’s blood are high, the doctor will administer phototherapy to treat the problem. During the treatment, your baby will be monitored under ‘special lights’ at the hospital, for 24 hours or 2 days. Usually the baby is naked, wearing only protective eye patches. The special lights will eliminate jaundice by reducing the bilirubin levels. The baby is put under a special light, covered by a plastic shield to filter out ultraviolet light, that influences the structure of bilirubin molecules so they can be excreted; sometimes it is useful to use a light-emitting mattress under the baby as well.
  • Another way to treat jaundice in newborn is to substitute breastfeeding with formula. Depending upon the level of bilirubin in the baby’s blood, the doctor may suggest to feed the baby on a formula (similar to mother’s milk), for about 48 hours. After the bilirubin levels are back to normal, the physician would suggest to switch back to breastfeeding.

Parents take away the stress and worry. When you are free from worries half the problem is solved.  The mother will be active, happy with the baby’s arrival and generate more breast milk for the baby. Change diapers in time to avoid baby feeling cold.

Baby will be drowsy, wake up baby and feed the baby at regular intervals. Jaundice will make baby sleepy. Avoid water supplements. Breast milk is the best natural resource available to treat jaundice. Follow the Doctor’s advise at all times.

New Moms Newborn Basic Baby Care Tips

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

Congratulations !!

You are a mother of a new born baby. This is a time to enjoy the experience of motherhood along with your family. A new mom can have a lot of queries and clarifications in the day to day proceedings. Bringing up kids is a major challenge, a huge responsibility . A mother needs to be vigilant and always keep an eye on the baby.

Grandparents and parents guide the new born mother to conduct all basic activities for the child. The key activities to be done in a day are:

Breast feeding

Breast milk is the best feed for your baby. It is proved to be the best as there is a special bond between mother and child. The more your baby nurses the more milk you will have. Ideally the mother also will come back to shape after her delivery with breastfeeding.

For some mothers the milk will not be sufficient to feed the baby , in such cases you can opt for the best quality milk formula. The only watch out is following hygienic practices and be disciplined in the approach. You need to sterilize the bottle and nipple in between feeds. Clean the child’s mouth with a moist cloth or towel . Do not leave the bottle in the child’s mouth as it can result in tooth decay.

Use a bib or towel while feeding the child. This will avoid unpleasant smell for the baby and the baby will not be irritated due to dryness and sticky feeling. Burp the baby after and between feeds. Religiously give water 1 or 2 oz ( boiled and cooled) or distilled water 2 or 3 times in a day.

Tips for new mom new born babyOil massage

Indian women believe in giving the baby oil massage daily in the early hours of the day. Coconut oil or oil of reputed brands can be applied on the baby’s entire body and head. Steps to be followed:

  • The baby is made to lie on its back on the legs or in case not comfortable on a rubber sheet.
  • Oil is taken in both palms and applied on the head in a circular motion to ensure the head is round and not flattened. This will help mold your head with a good shape.
  • You need to apply oil externally and pull the nose upwards gently to make it a bit pointed and long. Usually baby’s are born with a flat nose.
  • You need to apply oil on the chest and stomach and ensure it spreads all over the body. The next step is to squeeze out the nipple of the baby. Some white fluid will come out when pressed.
  • Apply oil on each had and gently fold the hand together on the chest and back two to three times.
  • Next is the legs. Hold your baby’s legs straight and close to each other. Then, with both hands start massaging your child’s thigh down to his knees then to his legs massaging from the outside to the inside. Fold legs at the knee and back. This will strengthen feet and prevent being bow-legged afterwards.
  • Keep monitoring the baby . If you feel that the child is not enjoying then stop for a while and then continue. Keep him engaged with sounds of toys etc.You can keep talking to the child. This develops a bond between you and your child.
  • Make the baby lie down for 15 to 20 minutes.

Baby bathing

  • Make sure you have brought all items required for the baby prior to bathing.
  • Bathe the baby in hot water that is above luke warm temperature. Apply baby soap daily and baby shampoo twice in a week.
  • Be extremely careful while handling the head as it is still not straight. You need to balance very carefully. Remember the baby’s head is very soft and therefore be cautious while bathing.
  • The baby can be wiped dry and put on baby powder all over the body. Use a powder puff. In India eyetex is applied on the eyebrows for helping growth of thick and shapely eyebrows. We also place an eyetex bindi ( a dot with the tip of your tiny finger)on the cheek and under the feet, this will ward away evil eyes and it is believed that the child will not have any problems in its growth.
  • Wipe your baby’s outer ears with a cotton balls or wash cloth but don’t try to clean the ear canal itself. The ear wax will come out unsurprisingly since the ear is naturally self-cleaning. But if you feel the baby is irritated then ask the doctor about it.
  • Like ears, the nose is also self-cleaning and needs no special care. Just wipe the outside preferably with wet wipes or wash cloth. Don’t use cotton swabs, tissue or even your fingernails.
  • Put on baby clothes and diaper. The mother can feed the baby and put him to sleep. The baby will sleep comfortably for 2 hours minimum.
  • You need to have a round pillow to ensure the head does not get flattened. Keep changing positions of the head after some duration.
  • This schedule of massage and bathing can continue daily for two months. In case baby has slight temperature avoid washing the head.

General routine tips:

  • In the evenings you can sponge the baby with a wet towel properly squeezed.
  • You should clean your baby’s umbilical cord with 70% ethyl alcohol 2 times a day or every diaper change. Never let water pass or enter the umbilical cord.
  • At birth, infant’s nails are typically overgrown. The ideal time to trim them is when the baby is fast asleep. If not done the baby may scratch their own face
  • If the nails are neither long nor short, it is still better to put on mittens on your baby’s little hands just to be safe.
  • As soon as the baby can see things though not yet clear, they begin to focus their eyes on objects. Sometimes, this causes them to appear as crossed eyes where just one eye focus on what he is looking at while the other just seems aimed anywhere. These eye movements mean he is still learning to use his eyes. But still it would be better to just close his eyes and restart his focus on objects.
  •  While sleeping, make sure that your baby’s head position is changed regularly. For example, if his head is on the right side for an hour then try to have his head on the left side after and so on. It would also be better if his pillow is comfortable enough for his head to move around. This is to prevent from having a baby’s head with flat side.
  • Once a day or after feeding if necessary, make sure to clean your baby’s mouth with a clean wet washcloth or an infant brush where you put your finger in it. This could prevent mouth and tongue infection brought about by milk leftovers.
  • When dressing your baby, use clothing with an easy-on and easy-off feature as much as possible. This could be wide neck openings or necks with snap closings. Fairly loose sleeves and a minimum fastening should be necessary. Preferably use material like cotton, spun that is soothing and comfortable. Avoid clothes of glittery and non absorbing texture as the baby is on its back for a long time.
  • These are just basic tips for new moms out there. If there are things that you are in doubt about your baby’s condition that needs immediate attention, don’t hesitate to immediately call your baby’s pediatrician. They  are the true guides and will help you in the development and well-being of your baby.
  • You can create a network of new moms and keep exchanging your learning’s to the others too.