Red blood cells are called hemoglobin. The body breaks down and creates new ones every four months. In the process of destruction, a yellow-colored substance emerges. This substance is called bilirubin. Jaundice occurs when the liver cannot remove bilirubin from the body. Babies' organs cannot perform their functions properly because they are not fully developed.
While the babies are in the womb, the mother’s body does the cells’ destruction and repair process. After babies are born, the process of adapting their bodies to the outside world begins. Babies start the adaptation process in the first few days after birth. It is expected that jaundice will pass in two weeks. The liver, which will perform its duty for the first time, needs 3-4 days to reach sufficient maturity. Therefore, jaundice is seen in babies whose liver is not fully developed. Jaundice also occurs when the baby does not get enough breast milk. When the milk comes slower than usual, the baby cannot be fed with breast milk and cannot acquire the substances in the milk.
Other factors can be listed as follows;
The physical signs of jaundice can be observed on the baby's skin. The most common symptom is yellowing of the white part of the eye called the sclera. A few days after birth, in a well-lit environment or daylight, the presence of jaundice can be examined by applying very little pressure to the baby's nose and forehead. If the skin turns yellow in the area where the pressure is used, there is jaundice. In addition, the bilirubin level according to the parts of the body also gives information about the level of jaundice. Babies are checked for jaundice right after birth. However, symptoms may occur after discharge. These symptoms are:
Newborn babies are checked according to the follow-up procedure. If there is jaundice, appropriate treatment is applied. It may also occur after discharge. In this case, parents need to be careful and observe. If jaundice in babies is not noticed and it becomes severe, it can cause serious health problems. In this case, it brings to mind the question of what happens if jaundice progresses in babies. In such a case, high bilirubin moves towards the brain, causing damage to the brain and negativities in the auditory nerves. In cases of yellowing, a blood test is performed, and a diagnosis is made by looking at the bilirubin level in the test results.
There are three different methods for the treatment of jaundice in babies. First of all, if the baby has mild jaundice, it is expected to heal spontaneously by being kept under the supervision of doctors. Treatment methods are as follows;
Blood Exchange: This method is applied if the baby's bilirubin level is too high.
Medication: Some drugs are used to lower the bilirubin level.
Light therapy: The baby is placed under a special light. Thanks to the light, the excess bilirubin in the body is excreted.