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Child Health

What is baby jaundice and how can I help?

Jaundice in newborns, also known as neonatal jaundice, is a common condition that occurs when there is an accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. In newborns, the liver may not yet be fully developed and able to effectively process bilirubin, which can lead to jaundice.

There are several ways to help a baby with jaundice:

Make sure your baby is getting enough to eat: A baby who is breastfeeding should be nursed frequently, at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. A formula-fed baby should be given enough formula to maintain a good weight gain.

Keep your baby well hydrated: Give your baby plenty of fluids to drink.

Place your baby in natural sunlight: Sunlight can help break down bilirubin in the skin.

Consult with your pediatrician: Your baby’s pediatrician may suggest additional treatment options, such as phototherapy (light therapy) or a blood transfusion if the bilirubin levels are very high.

It is important to note that most cases of jaundice in newborns are mild and resolve on their own within a week or two without any treatment. However, if the jaundice is severe or persists, it is important to seek medical attention.