Parents are often anxious during pregnancy and also right after delivery whether their baby will be jaundiced.
Will my baby have jaundice? What can I do to prevent it?
The true fact is, there is NO absolute way to prevent jaundice.
It is common and physiological & is more likely to happen in babies with RISK FACTORS.
Eg: G6PD Deficiency, mothers with blood group O positive, premature babies, etc.
However, there are a few things you can do right after delivery to PREVENT jaundice in your baby, to a certain extent:
EARLY initiation of breastfeeding.
Colostrum, which is the first, thick yellow breast milk acts like a laxative. It helps to move baby’s first stools (ie: Meconium-the black poo) through the baby’s system, helping to excrete bilirubin from the body.
FREQUENT + EFFECTIVE breastfeeding.
This helps eliminate to bilirubin from the intestines more efficiently-as bilirubin is mainly excreted in the stool.
It also improves caloric intake and hydration of the baby, thus reducing the elevated bilirubin.
MONITOR baby’s stool output.
It is very IMPORTANT to monitor baby’s stool output, to ensure baby is receiving adequate milk. The more you breastfeed, the more stools baby will pass, and the quicker the bilirubin will be cleared.
AVOID herbal medications.
Herbal medications can transfer into your breastmilk.
It may cause burden to a newborn baby’s liver which is still immature, which result in accumulation of bilirubin.
AVOID water supplements
Mother’s milk is 88% water and it supplies all the fluids that your baby needs. You do not need to worry about dehydration if your baby is feeding well. By giving water, it can cause electrolyte imbalance, weight loss, increase in bilirubin level and even reduce mother’s milk supply.