The development period is generally between the first two to five days of life. The primary cause of jaundice among infants is the high levels of bilirubin found in bile and in the blood. Since newborns do not have well-developed livers, bilirubin is not adequately filtered out, and hence, the growth of the problem.
There is no absolute way to prevent jaundice, but there are ways you can take precautions in this regard—and this is what we are going to talk about in this article.
Here are five tips to prevent jaundice in newborns:
1. Blood tests during the pregnancy period
It is well-established that certain blood incompatibilities may result in the greater breakdown of blood cells and hence, greater production of bilirubin.
Mothers with O+ blood type or Rh negative blood should get blood tests done during pregnancy as a matter of precaution.
In case there are genetic enzyme deficiencies such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, then you should know that these deficiencies are among the primary causes of jaundice among newborns.
2. Breastfed babies are more vulnerable to jaundice
In the early days of birth, newborns are not breastfed since breast milk takes the time to come out. During those few days, babies are given pre-milk substance named colostrum which is dense in nutrients.
Because of their intake of colostrum, their still-growing digestive system is not quickly emptied, causing the building-up of bilirubin in the system.
While the case is so, doctors still recommend that newborns be breastfed.
3. Expose your infant to light
It is recommended that you expose your infant to sunlight because ultraviolet rays undergo a reaction with bilirubin and transform it into a form not requiring expulsion through the liver.
Expose a diapered or naked baby to sunlight for not more than five minutes, once or twice a day. Remember not to over-expose the baby to sunlight because it can create serious complications.
Alternatively, place your baby’s bed near a window that lets in a good amount of sunlight.
4. Study the symptoms of jaundice
You, as a parent, must do thorough research on jaundice. Know the symptoms properly and always be vigilant towards your infant.
While babies are tested for jaundice in the hospital a number of times, you should not keep a lackadaisical approach towards jaundice.
The most common characteristic of jaundice is a yellow tinge to the skin and whitening of the eyes. Other symptoms include sleepiness because bilirubin levels induce drowsiness among babies.
5. Minimize the risk pertaining to a preterm birth
It is found that babies who are born before 38 weeks are more vulnerable to jaundice. Such babies are relatively less developed and, thus, their liver finds it more difficult to eliminate bilirubin.
In case it is a preterm birth, make sure you are extra careful about the health of the baby. Monitor the baby and reduce the risk of certain infections such as CMV, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis.