Today I want to share on common baby problems that may be encountered at birth or just a few months after birth and how to deal with them. Those common problems are:
Jaundice in newborns
Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin due to the build up of bilirubin in the blood when the liver is unable to break it down .It is critical to look for signs within 3 to 5 days after birth. Some times it is difficult to detect in darked skin infants and special test including blood test can be done to detect this.
Jaundice identification can be done in the hospital before discharge. This condition is likely to happen in boys ,babies who have loss a lot of weight just after birth, mothers who are diabetic or if there was an induced labor. Also premature infant because the liver is not properly developed can also show signs of jaundice. There are different causes of jaundice .One could be the normal course of events of child birth(physiological) at it can be a disease(pathological) for example hepatitis, infection or liver dysfunction. Jaundice can be treated by placing the infant under ultraviolet lamp(bililight) or if not severe the infant can be allowed to leave the hospital with the parents exposing the infant to mild sunlight for a few minutes. If yellowing of the skin occurs two or more months after birth then it would be best to take the infant for a check up.
Colic is a painful episode that newborns go through which is characterize by excessive crying and passing gas. This starts usually between two weeks and last up to about five months.
There is no know cause of colic and can affect any baby healthy or not and is not gender specific. It is said that a few factors may contribute to colic. These are
1.The digestive system may still be developing or adapting to the outside and it is baby’s way of communicating.
2.Food allergies some infants may be sensitive to the milk given if bottle fed or even breast fed.
3.Gas in the digestive system.
4.Overstimulation which occurs later in the day and baby is trying to process every thing or smoky environment.
Ways to reduce colic include
- As much skin to skin contact for reassurance so that baby does not cry for attention. This is not spoiling folks.
2.Holding baby in upright position when breast or bottle feeding to reduce the gulping of air. For bottle fed babies using the right nipple is key. It is best to use size one nipples and a bent bottle to reduce gas whether it is rubber or plastic nipple depends on baby preference use both to see which one is best suited for your baby.
3. Assisting the infant to burp after every feed to reduce gas .This is done by placing the infant against your chest and gently patting the back.
4.Feed when the infant is hungry .I know it will take some getting use to for first time parents but you need to know your baby. For the
first three months the average infant feeds every 2 hours with at least 10 minutes on each breast or 2 to 3 ounces every 3 to 4 hours for bottle-fed babies.
Coping with Colic
Speaking from the heart ,colic is no joke I remember when my first child got colic he was crying for what seems like hours , flaying his arms and legs around stretching out and the list goes on. I was in tears on the verge of going to the hospital because all I tried was not helping, when his father walked through the door took him right away the crying stopped. I really felt inadequate as a mom and a little jealous but here are a few things I learnt that day.
I learnt that in raising a baby it takes more than one person so if you are a single parent get help from another relative when you feel overwhelm. Know that you are doing your best even though you may feel as if you are not. There are several ways to calm a baby from putting baby across the shoulder, across the knees, in a rocker , walking around making soothing sounds, playing soft music ,going for a drive, giving medicine for gas and so on .Try different things and see what works for baby.