What Causes Yellow Babies?
Windowofworld.com – Yellow babies within a few days after birth are conditions that often occur and are generally not dangerous. However, sometimes yellow babies can also be caused by serious conditions and need to be treated by a doctor immediately.
Jaundice generally attacks newborns who are around 1 week old. This condition can be recognized by the appearance of a number of symptoms, including yellowing of the skin and eyes, the color of urine is more concentrated, and the stool is slightly whiter and pale.
If it does not cause other complaints, this condition may not be a dangerous thing. However, if the yellow baby appears with other complaints, such as the baby looking very weak or dehydrated, does not want to suckle, seizures, or appears in the first 24 hours after the baby is born, then this condition needs to be aware of.
Risk Factors and Causes of Yellow Babies You Need to Know
Yellow babies are the effects of high levels of bilirubin in a baby’s blood. Bilirubin itself is a yellow substance produced by the body when red blood cells burst.
Basically, the baby’s body produces more bilirubin than adults. However, because the baby’s liver in charge of removing bilirubin has not been able to work fully developed, the bilirubin will accumulate in the body and eventually cause symptoms of jaundice.
This condition can generally heal by itself as the baby’s liver functions in removing bilirubin. However, in certain conditions, yellow babies can also be a sign of a health problem suffered.
Usually, this condition for yellow babies to watch out for appears faster (when the baby is between 1-3 days) or even slower (when he is more than 2 weeks).
Here are some conditions that can cause a baby to experience jaundice:
- Disorders of the liver or bile ducts, such as biliary atresia, cystic fibrosis, or hepatitis.
- Infectious diseases, such as sepsis, meningitis, and viral infections.
- Abnormalities in infant red blood cells, such as hemolytic anemia, sickle cell anemia, and rhesus incompatibility.
- Congenital hypothyroidism.
- Lack of oxygen or hypoxia.
- Enzyme deficiency, for example in G6PD disease.
- Genetic disorders.
- Side effects of certain drugs.
In addition, babies will also be more at risk of developing jaundice if:
- Born prematurely or born before 37 weeks’ gestation.
- Born to mothers who have gestational diabetes.
- Not getting enough milk or formula milk (for babies who are not breastfed).
- There are injuries or bruises to the baby, for example when having a long or difficult labor.
Appropriate Handling For Yellow Babies
In many cases, the condition of a yellow baby is not dangerous and can improve by itself within 1-2 weeks. During this time, Mother only needs to give ASI or formula milk more often than usual (8-12 times a day).
However, if the yellow baby does not improve after 2 weeks or is caused by certain dangerous medical conditions, the baby will need treatment from a doctor and undergo hospitalization.
To treat the condition of yellow babies, doctors can perform several treatment methods in the form of:
Phototherapy is a method of treating yellow babies that utilizes special light exposure to destroy bilirubin in the baby’s body so that it is easily excreted through urine or feces.
Phototherapy is very effective in treating yellow babies with relatively mild side effects, such as rashes or diarrhea. When undergoing phototherapy, the baby will be given eye protection so that the phototherapy ray does not damage the baby’s eyes.
2. Immunoglobulin injection (IVIG)
This treatment is given if the jaundice in a baby is caused by a different blood type between the baby and mother. Babies with different blood types can carry certain antibodies from the mother and make bilirubin production increase.
Immunoglobulin injection aims to reduce the antibodies that cause high levels of bilirubin.
3. Blood transfusion
If the two methods above are not effective for treating the condition of a yellow baby, a blood transfusion may be performed.
This method is done by taking baby’s blood, then replacing it with matching blood from a donor or blood bank. This procedure usually lasts for several hours and during that time, the baby’s condition will continue to be monitored by doctors and nurses in the hospital.
If a yellow babies is harmless and can be treated at home, the doctor may advise the baby to be breastfed and dried more often in the morning sun.
Although most cases of yellow babies are not dangerous, Mother is still recommended to take your child to the pediatrician if he shows symptoms of jaundice. This is because the late handling of yellow babies can cause babies to experience serious complications, such as brain damage due to the accumulation of bilirubin (kernicterus), cerebral palsy, and hearing loss.