One such program, the Jaundice Early Treatment Study in Term Newborns (JETSET), was created by Dr. Jideofor Menakaya, a neonatal pediatrician practicing at Hillingdon Hospital in London, United Kingdom. JETSET's integrated hospital and community-based care program was developed around a team approach that’s helping new parents and newborns at risk for jaundice make positive strides to fight the condition.
Preventative Medicine at its Best
With other risk factors accounted for, term babies that are exclusively breastfed fall into a high-risk category for jaundice, widening the scope for potential health issues in otherwise healthy infants. A key goal of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the JETSET program is to promote and support breastfeeding among new mothers. Dr. Menakaya’s program addresses both objectives; increasing breastfeeding success while simultaneously reducing jaundice – with particular attention placed on parental and professionals’ anxieties associated with hyperbilirubinemia and breastfeeding. For Hillingdon Hospital, these fundamentals proved to be a successful pairing. “We found if a baby were jaundiced, we redoubled our efforts to support and encourage breastfeeding,” says Dr. Menakaya. Supporting adequate hydration of the newborn through successful breastfeeding contributes to elimination of bilirubin in the baby’s urine and feces, he says.
The ability to participate in prevention programs such as these opens unprecedented opportunities for new parents to avert health issues in their newborns before issues arise. The benefits certainly don’t stop there; these programs are making a significant impact on the bottom line for hospitals by addressing the main issues for readmission: jaundice and feeding problems.