How to prevent jaundice in newborns

First, and most obvious is that they are still a baby, so don’t be afraid of them. A baby can sense fear. There is nothing to fear about your new baby! All new babies need to be fed, diapers changed, cleaned up, held, and above all loved. With your newborn that has jaundice though, some other things do need to be kept track of. If something serious goes wrong with your baby it is very important that the doctor is contacted or the baby taken to the emergency room, unless the doctor has given you specific instructions for specific circumstances.

Things to keep track of are: the color of the baby’s skin, color of feces, the baby’s eyes, and the baby’s eating habits. With the color of the baby’s skin, you want to look to see if the baby is turning a darker shade of yellow, staying the same color, or getting lighter. The best here of course would be for the baby to get lighter. Staying the same color is not anything to call 911 about but it needs to be watched. If the baby seems to be getting darker, call your doctor.

The color of the feces is an important thing to watch, too. Breastfeeding is best for the baby in any case, but is especially important here. There are fewer toxins for the newborn’s liver to have to filter out and thus the liver is able to concentrate on filtering the bilirubin and doesn’t have to filter through all of the formula.

The baby’s feces will be green. This is what it is supposed to look like. These are the desired results. If breastfeeding, there will still be the little things that look like “seeds” in the bowel movements; if using the formula the feces may be darker in color and may have fewer seeds.

Watch the baby’s eyes. If they turn yellow and were not yellow, to begin with, the baby’s bili count may be increasing and the doctor should be called. If the newborn’s eyes were yellow, to begin with, and the color seems to be spreading, then the doctor should be called. A yellow color in the eyes that stays the same for a long period of time without change should also be reported.

It is also important to keep track of the baby’s eating habits. Feed the baby frequently, whether using formula or breast milk. The more the baby eats, the more the baby will push back out as a bowel movement,

and the more bilirubin the baby will be able to process out of his/her body in the bowel movement. If the newborn’s eating habits wane or if the newborn seems very sleepy and doesn’t act like he/she has the energy to eat, call the doctor. Eating is important in any case, but especially important here.

Remember, do not be afraid of the newborn, or what is going on with the baby. The baby is still a baby, and needs to be taken care of like any other newborn and just needs to be watched and kept track of a little more in some areas. Enjoy your new baby.

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