#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Yellowness Of The Eyes In A Week-Old Baby

Q: Hi! I have a newborn baby. She’s 7 days old. I realized the eyes are yellowish. They said in the clinic to put her on the window when the sun appears. I’m only breastfeeding – her will that help

A: Jaundice is a condition in which there is yellowing of the eyes or the skin. It can happen in both children and adults. Usually, when old red blood cells are broken down, a yellow pigment, bilirubin is released as part of that process. The bilirubin is removed from the body through urine and stool. It is the bilirubin that gives rise to that yellow colour seen in jaundice.

Other symptoms of jaundice include deep yellow urine and pale stools.

In newborn babies, there are two types of jaundice (neonatal jaundice) that can occur: Physiological jaundice and pathological jaundice.

Physiological jaundice occurs as a natural process of life. While in the uterus, the baby’s bilirubin is removed through the placenta. Once the baby is born, he/she has to handle this bilirubin business by himself/herself 😀 (talk about responsibility immediately after touching down in planet earth!) because his organs are unable to deal with all the bilirubin released from breakdown of red blood cells. As the bilirubin accumulates in blood, jaundice results. Typically, this jaundice appears about 24hours after birth, actually gets worse until the 3rd or 4th day. It would usually have disappeared by the end of one or two weeks.

Pathological jaundice is due to a disease condition like infection, mother and baby’s blood groups not being compatible etc. This is typically present before 24 hours of birth.  Indeed, this is the main difference between the two types of jaundice. The one that occurs naturally is seen after 24 hours while the one due to disease is seen before 24 hours…rule of thumb 😀

Jaundice may be mild, disappearing on its own, especially physiologic jaundice. However, sometimes, the yellowness deepens, the baby may develop a high-pitched cry and/or develop arched back. These are dangerous signs and this child should be in a hospital. Indeed, if you observe jaundice in your baby after you have left the hospital, please get it checked out in the hospital just to be sure.  Most babies are able to deal with this excess bilirubin on their own without needing treatment. However, some other babies may be put under special lights called phototherapy or in more serious conditions, an exchange blood transfusion may be done (literally, this involves practically exchanging the baby’s bilirubin-filled blood with ‘new’ blood).

The main focus in jaundice is to bring down the level of the bilirubin. If this is not done, it could cross the blood/brain barrier and stain the brain leading to brain damage, a condition called Kernicterus.  More frequent feeding is usually suggested as this helps the baby get rid of more bilirubin.

Will breastfeeding alone help? You didn’t quite specify when your baby’s jaundice appeared. It is key to confirm if it’s pathological or physiological. This will determine the appropriate treatment.

Have a good evening, everyone 😀

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Breast Feeding Advice

Q: Hi can you give me advice please? I breastfed my daughter for 3 and a half years I recently stopped feeding her about 2 months ago. I still have some milk in my right boob but my left does not have milk but it feels as if it’s a blocked milk duct. Is this normal or should I be worried?

A: Breastfeeding is really an intimate activity for mum and baby and it is not strange to find both of them feeling some sense of loss as this ‘bonding’ activity comes to an end…even when it’s mummy suggesting the change 😀 And for three years?! You deserve an award! :O It is even more important for you to find time to still bond with baby like frequent cuddles, keeping baby close to you, frequent eye contact etc. Generally re-assure your baby that the fact that this activity is coming to an end does not mean you love her any less. For those who are contemplating this, be sure not to introduce this when your baby is going through any major changes like moving house etc. That might convince baby you’ve moved on to other stuff J

Then get to it! 😀 I’m not sure how you did yours, but I’ll tell the newbies how. You can stop gradually over a period of time. Replace some feeds during the day with other foods or even milk (just not from you). Usually the first and last feeds of the day are the most difficult to replace or give up as they are your baby’s sorta emotional anchors 😀 But keep at it over a period of weeks and the breast milk production will gradually ‘dry up’.

The other option is to just stop putting baby to the breast. If your baby feels it’s also a good idea to stop, then you’re good. If not, you may have to be very creative with means and ways of distracting him/her.

In both situations, you may find your breasts engorged, as in this case. If you’re stopping gradually, you may want to express some milk (don’t express until the breast feels empty) and store in the fridge. You could put that in a sippy cup and feed baby later.

If you’re stopping immediately or in your case since this has been over two months, get the right support for your breasts.

In the good old days, mothers would tell their daughters to tie a wrapper tightly across their breasts. This helps. In fact, I believe that this is still being done by lots of people 😀

If you’re more jet age, though wear a tight supportive bra. For the pain, take analgesics and also apply cold packs to your breasts.


Try not to stimulate the nipples during this period. Stimulation of the nipples can occur during sexual foreplay or even pressing the nipple by people who are curious/worried about a  nipple discharge or friction between fabric and nipple. This encourages milk production. Hubby should kindly take note.

All the best as you move to a new phase of parenting!

Have a great day y’all 😀

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TO FEEL LESS DEPRESSED AND LONELY, LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA USE TO 30 MINUTES A DAY, RESEARCHERS SAY – Mark Bain

Is social media good or bad? Does it make you happy or sad? Does it make you want to keep up with the Joneses or leave you comfortable in your own skin? Not sure? Read!

https://qz.com/quartzy/1459609/limiting-social-media-use-reduces-depression-say-researchers/?fbclid=IwAR1nu5gyadLLLOrYMGtkAF6A-pKhJUle-I5oM2bDwfLNEux_bOFD_MrcihQ

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Low fat, low carb, or Mediterranean: which diet is right for you? – Harvard Health

I’m on a low fat diet! I’m on a low carb diet! I love the Mediterranean diet but there’s so much olive oil! Which diet are you on? More importantly, what works?! Read!

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/low-fat-low-carb-or-mediterranean-which-diet-is-right-for-you

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Daily Health Tips: Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain

chatwithketch

Q: Hello Dr ketch. Please, I have a question. How do a woman cope with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) in pregnancy? Mine is so bad, I can’t walk anymore. I went to the hospital, was admitted but had no improvement. I’m 35 weeks pregnant and in pains. I need help

A: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is a condition that is now more commonly known as pelvic girdle pain or pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP). From the name, this condition would usually occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or can even happen after delivery. It does not affect the baby in the womb, though. It is more common in people who have had previous pelvic injury and can also be influenced by weight and position of the baby. People with this condition in pregnancy experience symptoms like pain over the front of the pelvis, pain on one or both sides of the…

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Daily Health Tips: Pain On My ‘Tail Bone’ After Delivery.

chatwithketch

Q: Dear Doc, I started having serious pain at my tail bone some days after my baby’s delivery, what can I do?

A: The tail bone is called the coccyx and it is made up of about 2 or 3 fused bones. This coccyx can get bruised, ‘fractured’ or ‘dislocated’ during childbirth especially if you had a big baby or had a small pelvic outlet as the joints between these bones break open. This pain can be excruciating when you attempt to sit down in instances where the joint does not heal.

What can you do? Try lying on your side. When you have to sit, try sitting upright. This may be helpful or not. If not helpful, try sitting on a pillow or a doughnut shaped pillow…a good alternative is the travel pillow worn on the neck when travelling.
A sitz bath is also a great idea. It’s a…

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#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: I Just Found Out My Partner Is Sero-Positive

Q: My name is……… I have a problem and I kindly seek for your assistance.  I’m 43yrs old and all along I was HIV negative. From October, I have been sleeping with an HIV positive lady who did not tell me that she was positive and only discovered it yesterday. What steps should I take for my health?

A: I am a bit worried at this trend of questions. I have received at least one per month for the past 4 months. Ordinarily, I would refer this person to the link to this post in my blog but now feel I should put it out here for more people to read. People, knowledge is power in many ways – ‘knowing’ the person you plan to have sexual relations with and knowing how to protect yourself! There are many resources on my blog, ‘www.chatwithdrketch.com’. Please, y’all be careful! As much as HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence, you do not want to expose yourself to unnecessary risks.

And my answer? Re-produced from my earlier post on this.

Is it possible to get infected with HIV the first time or several times after having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected? Yes, it is. Is it possible to be HIV negative when my partner is positive? Yes, it is. Couples with different HIV statuses are called sero-discordant couples. It is possible to have sexual intercourse with a partner living with HIV/AIDS and remain uninfected. Several studies have been conducted to find out why and different reasons provided for this include:

  • Reduced frequency of sexual intercourse especially in the face of sexual promiscuity
  • Possibility of inherent resistance to the virus
  • Male circumcision
  • Patients on anti-retroviral therapy with an undetectable viral load are highly unlikely to infect their sexual partners

 

It is important though, to go to a proper testing center to confirm that the results you have received thus far are valid. Generally, if the initial test is negative, a repeat test is done 3 months after the exposure to ‘close the window’. Some may stretch this to a further screen after 6 months. Be guided by your doctor. If you are still confirmed negative, then the focus turns to next steps.

Of course, there’s always a risk in having a sexual relationship with someone who is HIV positive if you’re sero-negative. However, it is no longer the death sentence that we used to think it was and indeed, you don’t necessarily need to become infected if you follow some basic rules:

Ensure that your partner takes her anti-retroviral drugs to reduce her viral load and reduce the risk of infecting you.

However, even with the above, you still need to wear condoms while having sexual intercourse with her.

If there is an accidental exposure, like a broken condom during intercourse, be sure to use post exposure prophylaxis. These drugs used to treat HIV are usually taken daily for about 4 weeks to reduce chances of becoming HIV positive.

You can also commit to taking a tablet everyday as part of the pre-exposure prophylaxis. This prophylaxis is essentially tablets used to treat HIV and can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Remember that this should be used alongside condoms when having sexual intercourse.
Be sure to also test for HIV and other STDS at least once a year.

Now that you know your partner’s status, you must take every step to remain sero-negative. Knowledge is power!

All the best J

 

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