Jaundice is a condition that is related to the liver. When red blood cells disintegrate, they produce an orangish-yellow substance called bilirubin. It’s the liver’s task to flush out the bilirubin. But if too much of bilirubin accumulates, the liver will not be able to get rid of all of it and this is when a person gets jaundice. Jaundice is characterized by a yellow tint that spreads across the skin and even shows up in the whites of the eyes.
Though jaundice can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in children than in adults. This is because a newborn baby’s liver isn’t yet completely developed to excrete all the bilirubin.
How will you know that your baby is jaundiced?
There are a few signs that will give away the fact that your newborn may have contracted jaundice-
- The yellow tinge starts near the head and slowly proceeds to cover the arms, torso and finally the legs. You can try a little experiment- press your child’s skin gently with your finger and then let go. If your child hasn’t contracted jaundice, then the skin will turn white before it resumes its normal tone. But in the case of jaundice, it won’t become Pale.
- Moreover, your child will be feverish.
- May cry and be constantly irritable owing to abdominal pain – a common symptom of jaundice.
- The baby will be nauseous.
- Your newborn will feel drowsy and will sleep a lot.
The treatment of jaundice depends on what the diagnosis says. Very high levels of bilirubin cannot be brought down at home and will require phototherapy where the baby will be exposed to a special kind of blue light.
If an accelerated rate of red blood cell destruction is the reason behind your child’s jaundice, then tooyour child will require professional medical aid where blood exchange transfusion might be administered.
If jaundice has resulted from hepatitis B or C, then your child will be given antiviral medicines.
These cases of jaundice are severe and you cannot treat your child from home. however, if bilirubin levels are not too elevated or if hepatitis A triggers it, then home remedies should suffice when it comes to treatment.
Here are a few things you can do to comfort and soothe your little one-
There are plenty of home remedies for jaundice. Some that would work on your baby are-
- You have to make sure that your child’s bowel movements are regular. All forms of excretion rid the body of bilirubin. So, to ward off constipation, make your child drink plenty of water, and if the child is old enough to eat solid foods, then include fibres in the diet.
- Breastfeed your baby to boost its immunity.
- Let your child get 1-2 hours of sunlight every day but not beyond 8 AM when the sun rays are less slanting and can damage the little one’s skin. Sunrays are a miraculously effective cure for jaundice, they can reduce bilirubin count very quickly.
- Make a simple juice out of carrot or spinach and feed a little bit of it to your baby. These veggies are chock-a-block with the nutrients that can combat jaundice.
- Another juice that your baby can benefit from is sugarcane juice. The friendly sugars and other vital minerals will instantly pump up the child’s liver. But make the juice at home, sugar cane juice bought from a vendor may make your child sicker.
- Tomato juice too can help because they contain lycopene, which is beneficial for both the liver and the blood. A few drops of this juice early in the morning will quickly reduce bilirubin count.
- You can also consider herbal therapy for your child. Basil tea, chamomile tea or dandelion contain loads of antioxidants that can detoxify your child by cleaning out all harmful substances accumulating in the body.
Jaundice is not a dangerous disorder even though it is very common among new-borns. Home remedies and plenty of rest will heal your baby soon enough. But, remember, before you start administering home remedies on your child, consult a doctor just to make sure that the case isn’t too severe and that the baby doesn’t need special care.