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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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