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Need a Jaundice Home Remedy?
Infantile jaundice is a common disease in infants, and in fact about 70% of newborns show some signs of it. Most treatments for baby jaundice are simple and can be easily done at home. Only in rare cases is aggressive treatment of jaundice necessary.
Susun Weed in the Childbearing Year has an excellent section on childhood jaundice and its treatment. I’ll summarize her great suggestions below.
Infant jaundice is a condition that manifests as a yellow tint to the whites of the baby’s eyes and a yellow tinge to the skin starting at the baby’s head and moving down to the toes.
Jaundice occurs due to the breakdown of excess red blood cells associated with the transition from your fetus receiving oxygen from your placenta to supplying its own oxygen. Bilirubin is a by-product of this breakdown process, and when it is reabsorbed and circulated, it colors the skin and eyes yellow.
CAUTION: A bilirubin level of 12 or more that continues to rise after the third day and a child who is dehydrated and lethargic is a sign of pathological jaundice. This condition may be related to blood type incompatibility or liver damage, and the help of an experienced professional healer is very likely required for effective treatment of infant jaundice. If left untreated, this type of childhood jaundice can lead to brain damage.
Two other types of infant jaundice, physiological jaundice and breast milk jaundice, require little or no treatment and resolve on their own within a few weeks. There are some simple baby jaundice treatments that you can use to support your baby during this time.
The first is simply nursing. Even in the case of breast milk jaundice, your milk helps with the build-up of gut bacteria that help with the binding and excretion of broken down red blood cells. Also, the extra protein in milk protects the brain from damage while the bilirubin level is high.
Sunlight will also help break down bilirubin. So another effective treatment for infant jaundice is to undress the baby and shade his eyes and sunbathe him for five minutes in the early morning or late afternoon.
If breastfeeding, the mother can also drink an infusion of one of several herbs as a treatment for infant jaundice. The baby will then receive the benefits of the herbs through breast milk. Recommended herbs to try are catnip, comfrey leaf, rapeseed or dandelion root.
The standard ratio for infusions is one ounce of dried herb to one quart of water, and this infusion is allowed to infuse for at least four hours before being strained and drunk. Dandelion root infusion is naturally bitter, and Susun Weed recommends adding salt to make the drink more tolerable.
Cheladonium 3x is a recommended homeopathic treatment for childhood jaundice. Be sure to use it only homeopathically, not in herbal form.
Breast milk jaundice is very rare and its symptoms include yellow skin and eyes, a bilirubin level under 20 and an active, breastfeeding baby. Steroids in breast milk are sometimes thought to inhibit enzymes that break down red blood cells. This type of jaundice can last up to two months.
As long as your baby is active and breastfeeding heavily, there is no need to worry too much and it is definitely NOT NECESSARY TO STOP BREASTFEEDING. The condition resolves on its own without switching to formula, and removing the nurturing closeness of breastfeeding can actually complicate infant jaundice.
If you suspect breast milk jaundice, you can stop breastfeeding for a short time (no longer than 48 hours) to see if the bilirubin level goes down without breast milk. This is not a recommended treatment for infant jaundice, but rather a test to see if this is what you are dealing with.
Treat breast milk jaundice with the infant jaundice treatments above, or try increasing enzyme activity in your baby’s liver and intestines with fresh wheatgrass juice. Give your baby up to 20 drops a day, or give them in milk by drinking up to two ounces a day.
So if your baby is showing the common symptoms of yellow eyes and skin, first rule out pathological jaundice and then take a deep breath and relax knowing that the only real treatment necessary for infant jaundice is the measures you choose to support your baby while he/she is breaking down and it processes those excess red blood cells.
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