Benefits of Phototherapy for Yellow Babies

Phototherapy or light therapy is one of the most common treatment methods for treating jaundice. The change in the color of the baby's skin to yellow is often caused by an increase in bilirubin levels. Come on, find out more about phototherapy to treat jaundice.

Jaundice or in medical terms is called jaundice It can happen to anyone, including babies. Jaundice can cause the skin and the whites of the eyes (sclera) in babies to appear yellowish.

Jaundice can appear on the third day after birth and disappear by itself when the baby is 2 weeks old. Babies born prematurely are generally more susceptible to this condition. One of the most effective and commonly used treatments to treat jaundice is phototherapy.

Causes of Jaundice Babies That Need Phototherapy

Jaundice generally occurs because the baby's organs have not been able to handle the excess bilirubin in the body properly. Bilirubin is a substance formed from the breakdown of red blood cells in the body. This substance gives urine and feces their yellow color.

The condition of a jaundiced baby cannot be taken lightly because it is at risk of causing dangerous complications if not treated immediately. There are several things that can cause jaundice, including:

  • Abnormalities or problems with the baby's liver and bile, such as hepatitis and biliary atresia
  • The effect of breastfeeding or even a lack of breast milk
  • Blood disorders, eg hemolytic anemia
  • Incompatibility reaction between mother's and baby's blood
  • Infection

In addition, other conditions such as premature birth or birth injuries can also increase the baby's risk of jaundice.

Changes in skin color may be harder to spot if your baby has a darker skin tone. However, the yellow color will be more pronounced in some parts of the baby's body, such as the whites of the eyes, inside the mouth, and on the palms and soles of the baby's feet.

Other signs of a baby having jaundice include frequent crying and drowsiness, looking weak, dark yellow urine, and pale stools.

Phototherapy Treatment Methods for Jaundice Bayi

Yellow baby or jaundice generally require phototherapy treatment using the help of ultraviolet light. This method is considered a safe treatment and does not cause damage to the baby's skin.

There are two types of phototherapy methods, namely:

Conventional phototherapy

This type of phototherapy is done by placing the baby under a halogen lamp or ultraviolet fluorescent lamp so that the light can be absorbed by the baby's body through the skin. The baby's eyes will be closed to protect the nerve layer of the eye from exposure to ultraviolet light.

Fiber optic phototherapy

This phototherapy treatment uses a blanket equipped with a fiber optic cable and is performed with the baby lying down. Exposure to ultraviolet light is channeled through the cable to the baby's back. This treatment is generally used more often if the baby is born prematurely.

Both types of phototherapy have the same goal, which is to provide as much UV exposure to the baby's skin as possible. The phototherapy method is generally done for 30 minutes every 3-4 hours, so you still have time to breastfeed your little one, change his diaper, or just hug him.

Before doing phototherapy, there are several things you should pay attention to, including:

  • All of your baby's clothes need to be removed so that his skin is exposed to as much artificial ultraviolet light as possible.
  • The baby's eyes must be covered to protect the eye's nerve layer (retina) from exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Your little one should still be given breast milk or milk during this therapy.

During treatment, the baby's condition will always be monitored to ensure the temperature is not too hot and prevent the risk of signs of dehydration appearing. If dehydrated, the baby may need fluid therapy to be given through an IV.

The doctor will check the baby's bilirubin level at least once a day, every 4-6 hours after the phototherapy process begins. Once the bilirubin level has decreased, your little one will be checked every 6-12 hours.

Phototherapy treatment usually takes about 1–2 days and will be discontinued once the baby's bilirubin level reaches normal levels.

Although phototherapy is highly recommended for treating jaundiced babies. However, under certain conditions, phototherapy may cause side effects in the baby. These side effects include dehydration, diarrhea, and the appearance of a skin rash that goes away once therapy or treatment is stopped.

It is important for Mothers to pay attention to the condition of the Little One when he was born, including the color of his skin. If your little one's skin looks yellow in a few days from birth, don't hesitate to take him to the doctor immediately