Caring for Newborns & Families
is what we do best!
Infant Home Phototherapy, Inc was established in 1989 by Donna Gentry-Hayward, RN, BSN, MBA/HCA, to provide a safe effective alternative to in-hospital treatment for jaundiced newborns. Medical providers in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties have referred to her service, and trusted her with their patients for over 30 years.
Donna has an extensive background as a neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurse, and is very well established in the medical community. Our caring team is composed of highly experienced Registered nurses (RN's) ) specializing in the care and treatment of jaundiced newborns. They have focused backgrounds in NICU, post-partum, and pediatric nursing. In addition, several of our nurses are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Our staff recognizes that this can be a stressful time for new parents and families. Our goal is to treat each family with the highest standard in nursing care and professionalism. Caring for new parents and babies is what we do best!
Initial Set-Up Visit
Infant Home Phototherapy, Inc. provides in-home treatment and care of jaundiced newborns. Under the direction of your newborns health care provider (HCP), our nurses will provide comprehensive nursing care and patient teaching. At the initial visit, the RN will come to your home to provide a skilled nursing visit. She will set up the phototherapy light, and provide instruction on the use of the equipment. The RN can assist with breastfeeding and feeding assessment if needed, and answer any questions and concerns you may have regarding the care of your newborn.
Each subsequent day, a RN will return to weigh and assess your newborn and complete a heel stick blood draw. This blood specimen will then be sent to a hospital laboratory. The RN will inform your newborn's HCP of that day’s bilirubin level when it becomes available. The family will be notified each day of the bilirubin level and health care providers’ orders.
Frequently Asked Questions
A useful site by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
La Leche League, a site with helpful information related to breastfeeding.
*Phototherapy Light Treatment*
*Daily Home Check-ups*
*Head to toe assessment *Weight check *Heel-stick blood draw
*Lactation Support & Feeding Assessment/Plan
*Daily Provider communication
*Evening Labs (for bilirubin levels that should be checked
sooner than next day)*
*Lab testing includes: Bilirubin levels, CBC, HCT, HGB, Retic,
G6PD, ABO/rh/DAT, Newborn Screening
We are available 7 days a week! 356 days a year!
Patient visits from 8am-730pm
24 hour On-Call Nurses Triage/Answering Service: 1.888.310.8580
Office Hours M-F 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m.
Phone (for administrative and billing questions only): 425.355.0957
PO BOX 1328
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Email to: Info@Infanthomephototherapy.com
What is Jaundice
Jaundice is a common and usually harmless condition in newborn infants. The word jaundice comes from a French word meaning "yellow". It describes the yellowish appearance of the whites of the eyes and the skin.
Physiologic, or "normal", jaundice usually appears on the 2nd or 3rd day of life in healthy babies born after a full term pregnancy. It often disappears within a week. Doctors estimate that as many as two thirds of full-term babies get physiological jaundice. It may occur in both breastfed and formula-fed babies.
Premature babies are even more like likely to get normal jaundice. It may appear later and last longer in these infants, becoming more noticeable between the 5th and 7th days of life.
In most instances, the jaundice is mild and causes no problems and it disappears with out treatment, however, if the condition is more severe, or if the jaundice is present at birth or appears during the first 24 hours of life, treatment will probably be necessary.
In most babies, jaundice occurs because the liver and other organs are not yet fully mature. This is particularly true in very small or premature babies.
One function of the liver is to rid the blood of a yellowish substance call bilirubin. All during life, new cells are being created and old ones are being destroyed. As the old cells are broken down, hemoglobin, the red part of the cells, is changed into bilirubin and removed by the liver. Until a baby's liver begins to fully function, bilirubin can build up in the blood stream, causing the skin and whites of the eyes to become yellow. This condition is known as physiologic jaundice.
High bilirubin levels can occur for other reasons, also. Babies who are bruised at the time of birth and babies born to diabetic mothers are more likely to develop jaundice.
Two other, potentially more serious kinds of jaundice occur when baby's blood type is different from the mother's. One of these is called ABO incompatibility. The mother usually has type "O" blood and baby has either type "A" or type "B". Another kind of jaundice occurs when the mother has Rh-negative blood and baby has Rh-positive blood.
Although there are other causes of jaundice, they are extremely rare.
As stated earlier, physiologic (normal) jaundice is expected to disappear without treatment. However, some babies may require treatment. This depends on whether they were born prematurely, how old they are when the jaundice occurs, the cause of the jaundice, and the severity. In any case, a physical examination is preformed and laboratory tests are obtained if necessary.
When jaundice does require treatment, a technique called phototherapy is usually used. Phototherapy simply means treatment using light. Light (either sunlight or artificial light) speeds up the removal of bilirubin from the blood by the liver. In traditional phototherapy, the babies skin is exposed to special high-intensity lights often called "bililights". At times, the baby may need two separate lights for treatment. Temporary and usually minor side effects in some infants may include rash or loose stools.
Phototherapy continues until the amount of bilirubin in the blood reaches and remains at a safe level, generally taking 3 to 5 days. The bilirubin level is checked daily by testing a small sample of blood usually taken from the baby's heel.
Jaundice in newborns is very common. In the majority of instances, the condition is normal, harmless, and temporary. When treatment is necessary, safe and effective methods are used.
Breast fed babies with physiologic jaundice should be fed 10 to 12 times daily, or every 2 to 3 hours, to increase their milk intake. Timing of feedings is from the beginning of a feed to the beginning of the next feed. Since babies with jaundice are often very sleepy and are not always interested in feeding, it may also be necessary to supplement the baby with expressed breast milk, donor milk, or formula after each breast-feeding session.
On rare occasions, the doctor may advise that nursing be interrupted for 1 to 3 days if the bilirubin levels rise too high. The mother can maintain her milk supply by expressing milk out by hand or with the aid of a breast pump every 3-4 hours. Once the jaundice is under control, breast feeding may be resumed.
If your breasts are engorged, they may be hard, full, warm, tender, and painful, and you may have a low-grade fever. It may also be hard for your baby to latch. Engorgement happens when milk isn't fully removed from your breast. It can happen any time, but it's most likely to happen as your milk transitions from colostrum to mature milk or if there are sudden changes in how often you nurse, such as skipping a few feedings or pumping sessions. For relief, before feedings, encourage your milk flow. Put a warm, moist washcloth on your breasts or take a warm shower for 10-20 minutes. Massage your breasts before and during feedings, moving from the chest wall to the nipple. If your breast is hard, hand express or pump a little milk before nursing. That will soften your breast and make it easier for your baby to latch. Be sure to only express enough milk to soften your breasts or provide comfort. Between feedings, put cold compresses on your breasts to help reduce swelling and pain.
If you are experiencing localized inflamed, hot, redness, or darkened area to the breast, have a fever (100.4F/38.0C) or flu like symptoms, or have concerns call your doctor.
Hold your breast with your fingers and thumb cupped around your breast in a C shape, near but not touching your areola. Then PRESS your fingers and thumb back towards your chest. COMPRESS your breast between your fingers and thumb, moving them slightly towards your nipple without lifting them from your breast. RELEASE without moving your hand from your breast. REPEAT, moving your hand to a different place around your breast after every few compressions or whenever milk flow stops, so that you compress all of your milk ducts. Releasing and repeating rhythmically helps to mimic the action of a baby breastfeeding.
Allow time at first: the whole process may take 20 or 30 minutes, you can always stop and start again later if you need to. Frequent short sessions are usually more effective than infrequent, longer expressing sessions. Hand expression should feel comfortable. If it’s not adjust what you’re doing until it feels more comfortable.
Here is a great video showing this technique:
Infant Home Phototherapy accepts most commercial and independent insurance plans.
To check your specific benefits please call your insurance member services line using code S9098 (all inclusive skilled nursing visits, blood draws, and bili light)