What is the Newborn Jaundice?
Some of the substances in the breast milk, or the lack of breast milk is caused to the jaundice types called newborn jaundice. This problem, also called breast milk jaundice, is likely to occur in different stages of the newborn period. Also, if you want to get information about other diseases that can be seen in your baby you can look over our posts :Reflux in Babies , Gas Problems in Babies.
There are two different types of breast milk jaundice, early and late.
Early breast milk jaundice
This type of jaundice occurs as a result of inadequate breast milk to the baby. In this case, the baby is malnourished and the amount of calories that are taken is reduced.
Due to the slow movement of the malnourished baby’s bowel, bilirubin (a natural residue resulting from the destruction of red blood cells in the blood) cannot be removed from the body and mixed into the blood. Therefore, early breast milk jaundice occurs.
Early breast milk jaundice can occur within 2 to 3 days after birth.
Late breast milk jaundice
The cause of jaundice, also known as prolonged jaundice, is breast milk itself. Some substances found in breast milk increase the movement of some enzymes in the intestine that causes the absorption of bilirubin. Therefore, bilirubin cannot be ejected and it passes into the blood, causing the baby to get newborn jaundice.
Late breast milk jaundice may begin in the first week after birth and may reach the highest levels in the second week.
How long does newborn jaundice last?
This varies according to the severity of the disease. Normal and mild jaundice may disappear within 2-3 weeks. But if it has progressed and no intervention has taken place, you may face with a 12-week treatment process.
What are the symptoms of breast milk jaundice ?
- First the face, then the whole body and the eye white turn yellow,
- Drowsiness, lassitude, and inability to open eyes.
When you consult your doctor with these symptoms, some tests may be requested. As a result of these tests, the doctor will tell you what the jaundice is caused by, what stage it is and how it behaves. At the same time, if you wonder why your baby is vomiting you can read our article named why do babies vomit .
How is breast milk jaundice treated?
Jaundice can be easily treated, and can sometimes disappear without the need for any medical intervention. However, it can cause permanent brain and liver damage when it progresses. Therefore, when you see the symptoms, you should definitely consult with your doctor and follow his/her instructions.
Early breast milk jaundice treatment
For the treatment of early breast milk jaundice, frequent breastfeeding is the solution! Breastfeeding 10-12 times a day right after birth will be sufficient for both treatment and prevention.
Late breast milk jaundice treatment
Treatment of late jaundice may be a little more difficult. Bilirubin values should be around 1-2 mg / dl but in this type of jaundice it may be up to 20 mg / dl. Therefore, if values is at a dangerous level as a result of the tests carried out, probably phototherapy treatment will applied.
There’s something we need to indicate here. Although this problem is caused by breast milk, doctors do not ask you to stop breastfeeding permanently. If, as a result of phototherapy, the breast milk jaundice values of the baby still do not fall, it is recommended that you take a break to breastfeeding for 24-72 hours. When the breastfeeding is stoped, the values will drop rapidly. The bilirubin level may rise a bit when you start breastfeeding again, but it doesn’t go back to the previous levels.
You can learn about pregnancy stages and get week by week pregnancy information in our website.