What are the causes of jaundice in a newborn ?
- A newborn can have 2 types of jaundice
(2) Pathological jaundice.
Physiological jaundice : This occurs on the 2nd or 3rd day
from birth and starts diminishing when the baby is a week or 10 days old. The reason for
this to occur is due to the liver being immature to deal with the excessive billirubin
formed because of the normal breakdown of the oxygen carrying red blood cells. In the
premature infants it is likely to be more severe.
While physiological jaundice usually does
not require any treatment, but more severe cases are treated effectively with phototherapy
under an ultraviolet lamp often called a bili light.
jaundice : This is extremely uncommon and is present
at birth and develops rapidly during the 1st
day of life. It indicates haemolytic disease caused by blood
group incompatibility (as when the baby has a different
Rh factor from the mother). The other causes of pathological
jaundice are obstruction in the liver, blood or liver diseases,
intra uterine and neonatal infection.
The treatment will depend upon the cause and may include phototherapy, exchange blood
transfusion or surgery to remove obstruction.
Q. What care should you take for the umbilical
The last remnant of a babys close attachment to its
mother in the uterus is the stump or the umbilical stump.
It turns black a few days after birth and can be expected
to drop off anywhere between one and four weeks later. You
can hasten healing and prevent infection by keeping the
area dry and exposed to air.
The following will help accomplish this:
1. Avoid urine to touch the umbilical stump cord.
2. Skip tub bathing and avoid wetting the navel while giving a sponge.
3. Dab the stump with alcohol.
Hiccups in Newborn
babys hiccups are believed to be another
of babys reflexes. Some babies are not just born hiccupers,
they are hiccupers even in their mothers womb. The
chances are that if your baby hicupped a lot in the womb,
he will hiccup plenty in the first few months
after birth too. The new
babys hiccups dont have a
known cure unlike the adult variety,though they
frequently triggered by giggling later on. And also unlike
the adult hiccups, they are not bothersome
, at least not to the baby. If they
are to you, try letting your baby nurse or suck
on a bottle which may quell the attack.
Eye discharge in new born
In nearly about 1 out of 5 new babies,
a chemical conjunctivitis is seen. This is because silver
nitrate drops are instilled into the newborn eyes to prevent
a gonococcal infection. This conjunctivitis is charactered
by swelling and a yellowish discharge that disappears by
the 4th or 5th day. Many hospitals now prefer to use antibiotic
ointment or drops which are less likely to trigger an adverse
If the swelling and discharge do not clear up, or if conjunctivitis begins any time after
the first 24 hrs, an infection should be suspected and a doctor be consulted. Tearing,
swelling or infection that begins once you are home from the hospital can also be due to a
blocked tear duct.
baby has a coating of white curd in the mouth, and if I try
to brush away, the mouth bleeds.
The white coating in the mouth of the baby is commonly called
Thrush is a fungal infection ( monilial infection ) which
it acquires from the vaginal canal of the mother during birth.
The causitive organism is Candinda Albicas, which is a normal
inhabitant of the mouth and vagina. Normally it is kept in
check by other microorganisms and it usually does not cause
problems. But due to to certain illness, or intake of
antibiotics or hormonal changes, there is a upset in the hormone
balance and the conditions become favourable for the fungus
to grow and cause symptons of infection.
Thrush appears in elevated white patches that look like cottage cheese or milk curds
on the inside of babies cheeks and sometimes on the tongue, roof of the mouth and gums. If
the patches are wiped, a red raw area is exposed and there may be bleeding. Thrush is most
common in newborns, but occasionally an older baby taking antibiotics will be infected.
The yeast infection itself is not dangerous, but it is painful and can interfere with the
baby's feeding. A doctor should be called if one suspects thrush infection.
My son is born with undescended testicles. Is there any cause
for worry ?
The testicles in the males and the ovaries in
the females babies develop in the foetal abdomen from
the same embroynic tissue. By the 8th month of gestation,
the testicles descend to the scrotum sac at the base of penis.
But in 3-4% of the full term babies and 1/3 of the pre-term
babies, the testicles do not descend and
the result is undescended testicles. The
diagnosis of undescended testicles is made
only when one or both the testicles
are not observed in the scrotum, even when the
body is in a warm bath. An undescended
testicle causes no pain or
any difficulty in urination. Normally undescended
testicles descend in the scrotum on its own by
the age of 1 year. In rare cases, 3-4 boys
out of a 1000 may persist to have
the testicles , and then surgery is
recommended which is successful.