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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Infant Jaundice - Natural Home Remedy

Many babies develop a mild form of jaundice two to four days after birth. The skin has a golden, sun-tanned appearance and the eye whites have a yellowish tinge. Newborn jaundice is due to the build-up of a yellow pigment in the blood (bilirubin) normally broken down by the liver. It occurs because the liver is not yet fully matured. Jaundice is more common in premature babies and in babies bruised during birth.

A bilirubin level of 12 or more which continues to increase after the third day and a baby that is dehydrated and lethargic is an indication of pathological jaundice. This is a condition could be related to blood group incompatibility or a damaged liver and the help of an experienced professional healer is very likely necessary for effective infant jaundice treatments in this case. If untreated this type of infant jaundice can lead to brain damage. The two other types of infant jaundice, physiologic jaundice and breast milk jaundice require little to no treatment and will disappear within a few weeks on their own.

Treatments to lower the level of bilirubin in your baby's blood may include:
- Light therapy (phototherapy). Your baby may be placed under special lighting that emits light in the blue-green spectrum. The light changes the shape and structure of bilirubin molecules in such a way that they can be excreted in the urine and stool. The light isn't an ultraviolet light, and a protective plastic shield filters out any ultraviolet light that may be emitted. During the treatment, your baby will wear only a diaper and protective eye patches.

- Sunlight will also help break down the bilirubin. So another effective infant jaundice treatment is to undress your baby and, while shading her eyes, give her a sun bath in the early morning or late afternoon sun for five minutes.

- Breastfeed your baby frequently. Plenty of fluids are needed to flush away the bilirubin.

- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). Jaundice may be related to blood type differences between mother and baby. This condition results in the baby carrying antibodies from the mother that contribute to the breakdown of blood cells in the baby. Intravenous transfusion of immunoglobulin, a blood protein that can reduce levels of antibodies, may decrease jaundice and lessen the need for exchange blood transfusion.

- Exchange blood transfusion. Rarely, when severe jaundice doesn't respond to other treatments, a baby may need an exchange transfusion of blood. This involves repeatedly withdrawing small amounts of blood, diluting out the bilirubin and maternal antibodies, and then transferring blood back into the baby — a procedure that's performed in a newborn intensive care unit.

If you suspect breast milk jaundice you can stop breastfeeding for a short period of time (no longer than 48 hours) to see if the bilirubin level drops without breast milk.

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