First-time mother Proschee Ford said she knows how much milk her daughter gets is very important to her health, but many new moms don't realize how much is also directly related to jaundice, which can make babies very sick if not caught early. According to newborn mom, Ford, the first night, her baby wanted to eat every 45 minutes, and gives her at least two-hour intervals between feedings.
According to doctors, it's a type of bile pigment that we all produce in our body and starts accumulating in the baby's blood and starts depositing in skin, which causes the yellow color. That yellow color is the first red flag that a baby is having trouble getting rid of bile. Doctors report that some of the signs are when a baby develops yellow or orange skin, when the baby is not feeding properly, or when a baby starts to appear lethargic or is not as active as it should be. Other symptoms of jaundice include unexplained fever, high-pitched crying, and being uninterested in feeding and losing excessive weight. When the bile starts to build up to a high level in the blood, it can also enter into the baby's brain. And, unfortunately, the developing brain is very susceptible to brain damage when it starts to build up to a high level.
If jaundice continues, it can lead to a condition called kernicterus and can cause permanent brain damage. Most new moms are sent home after two or three days in the hospital, but jaundice typically peaks when a newborn is between 3 and 5 days old. New parents can miss the signs, which is why it is important for them to stay in close contact with their pediatrician.
A baby's body gets rid of bile by getting rid of its waste, so doctors say that a newborn should breastfeed at least 10 to 12 times a day for a few days. Most important is to keep all pediatrician visits because there is a test that can easily detect a newborn's level of bilirubin, a brownish-yellow substance found in bile.
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