How does jaundice appear in a baby and what to do with it?

Newborn girl under a pink blanket It is often enough to hear that increased bilirubin in newborns is the cause of anxiety to the mother, who suspects the baby of having a certain disease that can cause significant harm to the developing organism. However, you should know that the norm of the content of this enzyme in the first days for children is high enough, and its large volume in the blood is sometimes a consequence of natural processes that do not require taking any measures.

To understand when you need to sound an alarm, and when you can calm down and wait for the normalization of the state of the baby, it is worthwhile to consider in more detail the essence of this phenomenon.

What is bilirubin and where does it come from?

Bilirubin in a newborn is exactly the same substance that is formed in the body of an adult. Its source is the decomposition products of proteins, in particular, hemoglobin, as well as other substances that participate in the process of oxygen exchange of man.

Blood in vitro Due to the continuity of the meta

bolic processes, bilirubin is always present in the blood plasma. Its norm for an adult is 8.5-20.5 μmol per liter, but in the first days of life in a newborn the index can rise to 205 μmol per liter. What is the reason for this phenomenon?

High bilirubin in a newborn is a consequence of the fact that when developing a fetus in the mother's body, it can not breathe naturally and receives oxygen solely through the blood.

To do this, the erythrocytes of the mother's body are used, which contain a large amount of hemoglobin. Once the connection between the circulatory systems is interrupted, most of the red blood cells die, as they are no longer needed, and the baby's body begins to produce its own blood. That is why the norm of bilirubin in his body is so much higher than that of an adult.

Contented pink-cheeked baby In the normal state, bilirubin is excreted with the natural products of the body's life after it has been subjected to binding by enzymes. However, in a newborn, enzymes are not yet beginning to be produced, or are not produced in sufficient quantities. That is why the norm, established for an adult, is invalid for a baby. Getting rid of excess bilirubin begins only after a while, when all metabolic processes begin to work at full capacity.

Jaundice in the newborn and its causes

Elevated bilirubin in newborns can manifest itself in a change in the state of the body, in particular, the skin color becomes reddish-yellow, the baby is constantly worried and often crying. Usually, this condition does not require additional treatment, since it is completely eliminated on its own during the first few days. However, in some children the norm can be exceeded for a long period of time.

The main reasons for this are:

  • pathological processes in the body;
  • lack of oxygen in prenatal development for various reasons;
  • transferred by the mother during pregnancy disease.
If bilirubin in newborns is not withdrawn at the proper time, it can lead to toxic damage to the nervous system.

Such children begin to lag far behind their peers by the age of six months. In the future, however, the outlook is disappointing - a significant limitation of physical and mental abilities. In addition, elevated bilirubin can be displayed on the performance of the digestive system, disrupting metabolism.

Phototherapy procedures for a newborn Specific treatment in this case is not prescribed, since it does not give a significant positive effect. Instead, infants with elevated bilirubin show phototherapy, that is, irradiation with sunlight. As a result of this effect, the enzyme is converted to lumirubin, which does not have a toxic effect on the human body and is excreted within 12 hours.

In addition, the norm can be quickly achieved if an early application to the breast is applied. Accelerated output of primary feces helps to eliminate excess volume of bilirubin.

However, it also happens that increased bilirubin in a newborn is due to the influence of pathological processes. Among them we can name:

  • genetic abnormalities affecting liver function;
  • infection and mechanical damage to the liver, disrupting its normal activity;
  • intestinal obstruction;
  • disruption of the endocrine system;
  • incompatibility of Rh factor of mother and child.

Such pathologies are rare enough and occur in no more than 2% of cases, but it is necessary to know about their existence. To restore the normal content of bilirubin in the blood, it is necessary to apply both the above recommendations and use a specific treatment that is prescribed by a neonatologist.

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