Posts for tag: Jaundice
Does your baby have jaundice? Find out how to handle this problem.
Jaundice in newborns is actually more common than you might think. While seeing your newborn with yellowing skin and eyes may be alarming it’s usually nothing to worry about. When red blood cells breakdown in the body they release a substance known as bilirubin. When your baby’s liver is unable to break down the bilirubin quickly enough this leads to jaundice. Find out how our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctors will treat this problem at Pediatric Care North.
What causes newborn jaundice?
There are several reasons your baby may develop jaundice. Premature babies (babies born before 37 weeks) are more at risk for developing jaundice, as are babies that aren’t getting enough breast milk (or formula) or babies that have a different blood type from their mother.
In some cases, an infection or liver problem could be to blame. While newborn jaundice will often go away on its own within 2-3 weeks, if your baby’s symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks this could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
When will symptoms appear?
Newborn jaundice will typically appear not long after birth (usually within 2-4 days). If you notice your baby’s skin appears yellow, especially when pressing on their skin, this is a telltale sign of jaundice.
Do I need to call a Kansas City Newborn Doctor right away?
While you may not necessarily need to call our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctor right away if your child has symptoms of jaundice, it is important to know when to turn to us for care. Give us a call if your baby’s symptoms get worse or spread, if your baby develops a fever, if they aren’t feeding, or they seem sluggish.
How is newborn jaundice treated?
While many cases of newborn jaundice will go away without treatment, more severe cases will require treatment from a qualified medical professional. One way in which we can treat more serious cases of jaundice in newborns is with phototherapy, which helps to break down bilirubin in the body.
If you notice any health changes in your newborn that have you concerned, you must visit our Kansas City, MO, children’s doctor as soon as possible. The team at Pediatric Care North is dedicated to providing you with immediate, comprehensive pediatric care. To schedule an appointment, call us at (816) 587-3200.
How your pediatricians in Kansas City, MO, can help with jaundice
The pediatricians here at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, offers a wide range of pediatric services to keep your baby healthy, including treatment for jaundice. Newborn jaundice is caused by an excess amount of yellow pigment, called bilirubin, showing up in red blood cells of your newborn baby. It is most often seen in preterm babies born before 38 weeks, and it can also be seen in babies that are breastfed. Jaundice occurs when a newborn’s liver isn’t functioning well enough to remove the bilirubin in your baby’s blood.
A common sign of jaundice is a yellowed appearance on the skin and whites of the eyes. Typically, these signs occur 2 to 4 days after birth. The Mayo Clinic recommends an excellent way to check for jaundice in your newborn: gently press on your newborn’s nose or forehead, and if the skin looks yellow, your baby has jaundice. In babies without jaundice, the skin color should just look a shade lighter than normal and then return to its original color. Make sure you have good lighting conditions to check for jaundice (natural daylight is best).
Jaundice can be mild or severe, so you should bring your newborn to a pediatrician if you notice:
- Increased yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Abdominal, arm, or leg skin yellowing
- Difficulty waking your baby
- Listlessness, sickness, or lack of weight gain
- High-pitched crying or difficulty feeding
Mild jaundice often goes away on its own however severe jaundice can cause serious complications including brain damage. At Pediatric Care North, they offer several effective treatments for jaundice, including:
- Light therapy (aka phototherapy): Your newborn is placed under a lamp, which changes the bilirubin to make elimination of excess bilirubin easier.
- Intravenous Immunoglobulin (aka IVIg): Immunoglobulin is transfused intravenously to help decrease jaundice by reducing the levels of antibodies that breakdown red blood cells.
Newborn jaundice is a common condition, and mild cases may go away without treatment. For severe cases of jaundice, it’s best to visit your pediatrician. For more information about jaundice and other concerns with your newborn, call the pediatricians at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO. Dial (816) 587-3200 today!