Baby Health

How To Spot Jaundice In Babies

Spotting jaundice early in babies is essential, to enable quick treatment of jaundice and avoid its fatalities such as deafness, cerebral palsy and/or mental retardation. Fortunately, this can usually be prevented.

The question now is, how do I spot jaundice on my baby?

Jaundice is a medical condition with yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, arising from excess of the pigment bilirubin and typically caused by obstruction of the bile duct, by liver disease, or by excessive breakdown of red blood cells.

You can spot jaundice in the following ways:

  1. Yellowish colouration: the yellowing of your babies forehead, eyes, stool, or body is a sure sign of jaundice and should have you calling your doctor to schedule a health check for your baby, so if true and it is jaundice that affects your baby, treatment can be administered early to prevent it getting serious.
  2.  Poor sucking: if your baby has a poor yearning to be breastfed, and sucks poorly this is another sign that your baby may have jaundice you need to contact your doctor to be sure or check for other signs.
  3. High pitched cry: babies affected with jaundice tend to cry more with a loud pitch and a mother experiencing this should be alarmed and concerned.
  4. Still or limp body movements:  movement for a baby is supposed to be with ease if your baby is limp and cant move properly, this is another sign that your baby might have jaundice, but worry less because for a baby to experience this sign, jaundice should be at an aggravated stage, and hopefully you should have detected it earlier with the early signs such as the yellow coloration.
  5. Seizures: seizures in babies are uncommon and a red flag that something is wrong, in this case, jaundice might already be serious and needs urgent treatment.
  6. Mental/intellectual issues: babies affected with jaundice may have difficulty in brain-related activities such as recognition etc.  this symptom is also an advanced stage symptom of jaundice.

As mothers, we need to be proactive and keep a close watch on our babies for any of the aforementioned symptoms, knowing that jaundice is treatable, it is in our best interests to detect it early and avoid major damage

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How My Baby Died From Severe Pneumonia

My baby was healthy. She had fever for two days and I was going to bring her to the doctor the next morning, but she started vomiting at midnight so we brought her to the hospital immediately.

When they got to the hospital, the medical staff hooked her baby to an IV, through which they gave her a medication to stop severe vomiting.

The next day, around noon, her baby started throwing up again. The medication didn’t work. She had asked for help, but there was only one nurse on duty as most of the staff had left to attend a party.

“We were calling out for help but no one helped us. I had to carry my child all the way to the emergency room because the doctors were there and we were in a ward,” she said, adding how her baby was struggling to breathe.

The only nurse on duty hooked her baby to a nebuliser, but it was too late. She recalls screaming for help, but they couldn’t save her baby.

Her baby, who she describes was perfectly healthy, had died because her lungs had filled up with phlegm, making it impossible for her to breathe.

Contrary to popular believe pneumonia is not caused by cold weather or getting wet but it is actually an infection. A cold or flu that gets worse can turn into pneumonia. That’s because the cold or flu will irritate the lungs, creating an environment where it’s easier for pneumonia germs to move in and start an infection.

  • The cause of pneumonia can either be fungi, bacterial, or viral.
  • It can be prevented through vaccination, proper nutrition, and through providing the proper environment: avoiding pollution and practicing good hygiene.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life has also been found to help.
  • If the cause of the condition is bacterial in nature, it can be treated with antibiotics. Sadly, only 1/3 of children diagnosed with pneumonia receive the needed antibiotics.

Normally, pneumonia begins as a mild cough or sore throat, much like other respiratory infections.

  • fever (usually above 38.5°C)
  • shivering
  • cough
  • rapid breathing
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest or abdominal pain
  • poor appetite
  • exhaustion
  • vomiting
  • dehydration

However, it’s important for parents to know that there is a type of pneumonia, or what is known as Walking Pneumonia, that is so mild and subtle that those who have it barely show any symptoms. Though not easily detected, it can be treated with antibiotics. 

Pneumonia can affect anyone of any age, if you notice any of these symptoms in your child or even yourself be sure to visit the hospital as soon as possible to get it treated.  

Source: The Asian Parent 

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