There is NO place for traditional treatment. I have seen too many children with permanent brain damage which is very sad as nowadays medical treatment is so effective in preventing brain damage due to jaundice.
Bathing the baby in kunyit water is definitely not recommended because the skin becomes more yellow in colour, therefore making it difficult to assess the true jaundice level from looking at the skin.
Do not give baby any herbal medicine as it may interfere with the bilirubin conversion thereby increasing the levels of fat soluble bilirubin and by the time the baby is taken to hospital, it may be too late.
Medical treatment in hospital
Once your baby is admitted to hospital, the paediatrician will take some blood to check the bilirubin levels which, together with the baby’s age and general condition will determine the need for further treatment.
Phototherapy is the use of fluorescent lights to break down bilirubin in the skin making it water soluble which can be easily excreted.
It can be given continuously or intermittently at 3-4 hourly intervals.
During phototherapy treatment the baby is naked except for the nappy in order to expose as much of the skin to the lights.
The eyes are covered with eye pads to protect them.
Baby must be given extra fluids to prevent dehydration.
It is normal if the baby develops skin rashes and has loose green stools.
Baby’s bilirubin will be monitored regularly during the treatment.
Exchange blood transfusion is done to remove the bilirubin and maternal antibodies from the baby’s circulation and replacing it with fresh blood from a donor. It is normally done if the bilirubin level rises to a dangerous level which cannot be reduced by phototherapy or there is severe Rhesus incompatibility.