Baby jaundice – would you know what to look for? Does your baby need to be hospitalised or can you treat jaundice in babies at home?
If your baby has jaundice their skin turns a yellowish tinge. The whites of the eyes will also have a yellow colour. I know all this but still, when my newborn baby had jaundice I didn’t notice. It happened gradually so it wasn’t that obvious to me though looking back at photos I can see that distinctive yellow tone straight away. My doctor diagnosed jaundice at our first-week check-up and recommended an overnight stay at the hospital. I was distraught having to leave my newborn overnight on his own. If I’d have known there was an option to rent the same hospital phototherapy equipment from The Baby Specialist so that my jaundiced baby could be treated at home by my side, at a fraction of the cost of hospital treatment, it would have been a no-brainer.” Sarah*, British mum of two in Singapore
Here’s what to know if you suspect your baby has jaundice.
What is newborn jaundice?
Jaundice in babies happens when there’s too much bilirubin, a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia, in your baby’s blood.
When does jaundice in babies usually occur?
Jaundice usually happens in babies around the second day after birth. If the jaundice is mild, it usually goes away on its own. Your baby will be discharged from the hospital if bilirubin levels are within a normal range for a newborn.
When should I consult a doctor about my baby’s jaundice?
Most cases of baby jaundice are physiological jaundice (where a newborn’s immature liver can’t remove bilirubin quickly enough, causing an excess of bilirubin. This is normal and not anything to worry about in itself and should disappear on its own). At your baby’s one week checkup however, you may be advised treatment if your baby’s jaundice has not cleared up.
How to treat baby jaundice
Mild jaundice clears after 1 week or so as your baby excretes the extra bilirubin through stool (which is why it’s super important your baby is feeding very well). If bilirubin levels are still higher than normal, your baby will need phototherapy treatment to treat jaundice. This special light treatment helps your baby more easily expel bilirubin.
Does sunbathing help baby jaundice?
Actually exposing your tiny bub to the potentially harmful UV rays from the sun is not advised.
Can I treat my baby’s jaundice at home?
Yes! Check with your doctor first but you can easily rent phototherapy packages for treatment of baby jaundice. The Baby Specialist provides rental of phototherapy and other hospital equipment (including baby weighing scales, breast pumps and other specialist baby equipment). The phototherapy equipment is the very same equipment used in public and private hospitals so you can rest assured of its effectiveness. The Baby Specialist will send a trained technician to deliver and set up the phototherapy equipment. They will also instruct you on the proper use of the phototherapy equipment. Being able to treat your baby’s jaundice from the comfort of your home will mean you can be with your baby all the time and continue to breastfeed and have the occasional cuddle. Plus being at home means neither you nor your baby will be exposed to any potential viruses in the hospital. And the last but never least benefit of treating jaundice at home with a rental? It’s actually cheaper than treating jaundice at the hospital (plus some maternity insurance covers home phototherapy so it’s worth checking your plan).
The Baby Specialist has a Bilibed Home Phototherapy rental package promotion at $299 for three days and two nights.
We hope you rest easier now that you know all the information on baby jaundice and most importantly how to treat it!
The Baby Specialist, Tel: (+65) 6562 6015, http://rental.thebabyspecialist.com.sg/
This article is not intended to replace medical advice. Always seek your doctor’s guidance and seek medical help urgently if jaundice gets worse (more yellow) after 3 days or has not gone after 2 weeks after birth.