Preventing Severe Newborn Jaundice

I read some crazy articles that included things like giving a newborn an enema (Which I’m not sure that I agree with, and haven’t done ever. Just to be clear!) in addition to applying essential oils topically – you can read about what they did here.

All of the babies in my family get jaundice, and in my husband’s family. When Autumn was born we discovered something frustrating – that most tanks for babies that they are making now aren’t built for big and tall babies. We had to have a special tank ordered which took special time to get delivered, in the mean time Autumn ended up getting put in the hospital and stuck on an IV at 4 days old…not how I wanted to spend any of the days of my first week with my girl for sure. This time around, instead of just sitting helplessly on the sidelines and waiting for the jaundice to happen I decided to do all the research I could to help myself better understand the safest and most effective home remedies and ways to help prevent a health issue that I do believe can be prevented.

What My Research Told MePreventing Severe Newborn Jaundice

The research I did taught me a lot. Firstly, one of the biggest things I didn’t find was ways to prevent jaundice. I thought that it was really strange, because this seems to be such a common issue and it is

There are a lot of essential oils recommended for jaundice, not all of them are ones I chose to use for reasons I’ll discuss in a minute, but here they are for your reference:

  • lemon
  • geranium
  • orange
  • DiGize
    I am not brand loyal, I use a mix of many essential oil brands, this particular mix happens to be from Young Living but if you find a comparable mix, then feel free to use it!
  • rosemary
  • frankincense

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My Plan for Preventing Severe Jaundice

Essential oils are a huge part of what we do in our house in the day to day, but I am also very careful because I understand that the combination of extremely concentrated oils and a newborn baby with a small little body could be a dangerous combination.

The use of full spectrum lightbulbs in our house are something we were actually already using. I brought them for the house plants we have in the office and the extra bathroom that weren’t getting very good light, so using them won’t really change anything for our routine.

Window time is one of the common treatments for babies with jaundice, so I decided to go ahead and implement it before baby Logan starts to show symptoms. My logic is that the buildup of bilirubin happens over a period of time and since exposure to sunlight won’t do any harm and it will help his body breakdown the excessive bilirubin.

I also made my own essential oil salve with coconut oil. I specifically chose oils that are versatile so they are good for baby’s overall health. While I think there are some oils that would work well, like lemon, that I did not include because I wanted to be able to use the salve in tandem with phototherapy.

  • geranium
  • rosemary
  • frankincense

Preventing Severe Newborn Jaundice

References So You Can Do Your Own Research

  • Andersson et al. Effect of delayed versus early umbilical cord clamping on neonatal outcomes and iron status at 4 months: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2011 Nov 15;343:d7157. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d7157.
  • Ceriani Cernades et al. The Effect of Timing of Cord Clamping on Neonatal Venous Hematocrit Values and Clinical Outcome at Term: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.  Pediatrics. 2006 Apr;117(4):e779-86. Epub 2006 Mar 27.
  • Hutton et al. Late vs Early Clamping of the Umbilical Cord in Full-term Neonates. JAMA. 2007 Mar 21;297(11):1241-52.
  • Mercer et al. Delayed Cord Clamping in Very Preterm Infants Reduces the Incidence of Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Late-Onset Sepsis: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Pediatrics. 2006 Apr;117(4):1235-42.
  • Prendiville et al. Care during the third stage of labour. In: Chalmers I, Enkin M, Keirse MJNC editor(s). Effective care in pregnancy and childbirth. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1989:1145–69.
  • Rabe et al. A randomised controlled trial of delayed cord clamping in very low birth weight preterm infants. Eur J Pediatr. 2000 Oct;159(10):775-7.
  • Ultee et al. Delayed cord clamping in preterm infants delivered at 34 36 weeks’ gestation: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2008 Jan;93(1):F20-3. Epub 2007 Feb 16.