Jaundice is a yellow-ish color that occurs on the skin and sometimes on the whites of the eyes. It is caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. It is very common for newborns to have jaundice. In fact, my baby did! He was a very sleepy baby at first and we had to wake him up to feed him. I found out later, this is likely because he had jaundice. We sometimes had to go to great lengths to wake him up as it seemed like he would sleep through anything!
At his 2 day checkup, my midwife pointed out that our baby looked a little jaundiced and suggested sunning him INSIDE next to a closed window (so he wouldn’t get sunburned) without any clothing on so the sun could penetrate his skin. She suggested doing this for 3 days once or twice a day.
I was surprised by how our little guy reacted to this treatment. I was worried that he wouldn’t like being undressed or that the sun would bother his eyes. I undressed him and held him in my arms as close to the window as possible without him touching it. He loved it so much. He instantly got a peaceful look on his face when I sunned him as you can see in the picture. Sure enough after 2 days the jaundice was gone and he no longer had a yellow tint to his skin. He was a nice, plump, pink baby again!
If sunning your baby doesn’t do the trick, there are a few other thing you can try.
1. Feed your baby often. Fluids will flush out the bilirubin. Every 2-3 hours is a good interval.
2. Home phototherapy: What you’ve heard about at-home lamp therapy is correct: If your baby’s bilirubin level is going up instead of down, your doctor may want to prescribe home phototherapy, an alternative to keeping newborns in the hospital for jaundice treatment. Home phototherapy requires you to put your baby under a special sun lamp and is only done when bilirubin levels are unusually high. Another, newer form of treatment is to wrap baby in a bili-blanket, a device that removes bilirubin. This is the easiest way to do home therapy in mild cases of jaundice that require treatment.
3. This site suggests wheat grass juice.
Please consult your doctor before trying any of these methods.
If you have any questions, please post a comment and I would be happy to answer.