When a baby is born, all parents hope for a healthy child—all ten fingers and toes, a strong heart, and an able body. However, between 10 and 15 percent of babies born within the U.S. require special care within the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), which is where preterm or diseased babies are cared for.
This time is crucial for babies; it's the stage in which we, as humans, are most sensitive. After the first hour of life, newborns should receive eye care, vitamin K, and recommended immunizations (birth dose of OPV and Hepatitis B vaccine). They should be assessed for birth weight, fetal age, congenital disabilities, and newborn illness signs. Special care is provided for sick newborns, preterm and/or low birth weight, and babies exposed or infected by HIV or have congenital syphilis.
One of the more common diseases for premature babies is jaundice, which refers to the yellowish discoloration of the skin, sclerae, and mucous membranes caused by an increase in bilirubin in the blood. This substance derives from the metabolism of hemoglobin contained in red blood cells. For the newborn, it is (in most cases) destined to disappear within a few days.
Jaundice becomes evident when the amount of bilirubin exceeds 3 mg per deciliter. The yellowish color occurs first in the face and sclerae (the white part of the eye) and then extends to the trunk and upper and lower limbs. Jaundice can be physiological or indicate a pathology.
However, jaundice can become severe. This happens when it goes untreated for too long, it can cause a condition called kernicterus. Kernicterus is a type of brain damage resulting from high levels of bilirubin in a baby's blood. It can cause cerebral palsy and hearing loss.
Babies are naturally sensitive, and premature newborns are even more at risk. Their immune systems are still developing due to being born prematurely, which increases their risk of getting sick. Skin conditions of many kinds are common; in addition to jaundice, many experience feeding issues, and fever (always the first sign of an infection).
Due to the nature of premature babies, it's essential to consider a non-invasive, non-medical treatment. They're still growing, just fully coming into their own and catching up on time missed developing in mom’s belly.
Light therapy is an incredible tool for these little humans, working inward and targeting the cellular level. It helps with both external and internal problems, which means that at the cellular level, light therapy alters and enhances the cell constitution. This, as a result, leads to faster and better reproduction, creating a healthier and stronger organism and body to function with.
Light therapy is a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical form of therapy. The way it can help with neonatal care is unique. During treatments, the babies are completely safe and protected, with their eyes covered. The skin gets exposed to the light therapy lamp to absorb its benefits. The lamp is positioned specifically for the baby, no closer than 30.5cm.
Light therapy has successfully treated newborn jaundice by lowering the bilirubin levels in the baby's blood through a process called photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation adds oxygen to the bilirubin, making it dissolve in water easily.
Since light therapy also helps to regulate circadian rhythm and melatonin, the treatments can also help babies sleep, which is essential in their healing and development.
You can customize and completely control light therapy consumption for babies, thanks to Kaiyan Medical’s state-of-the-art light therapy device manufacturing services. We have been working for 15 years to produce the best light therapy products on the market which are MDA-certified and FDA-approved light therapy devices, many of which are cleared for at-home treatments. Of course, before using a light therapy device, always consult your doctor.