Everything you need to know about jaundice in newborn

A common condition in infants is jaundice, which can cause concerns and questions for you as a parent. By understanding why jaundice occurs, being attentive to symptoms, and knowing the available treatment options, you can increase your confidence and knowledge on the subject.

Jenny Jansson

Read time: 2 m

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

Everything you need to know about jaundice in newbornPhoto: Preggers

Causes of jaundice in newborns

Jaundice in newborns occurs when bilirubin, a substance formed during the breakdown of red blood cells, accumulates in the body. This can be due to several factors, including the newborn baby's liver not yet being fully developed to effectively handle bilirubin. Other possible causes include blood group differences between the mother and the baby, premature birth, or through breastfeeding.

Symptoms to watch out for

One of the most visible symptoms of jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the newborn's eyes. It is important to note that mild jaundice is common and usually resolves on its own. In cases of more pronounced jaundice or if the symptoms do not improve, it may be necessary to seek medical assistance.

Treatment options for jaundice in newborns

In mild cases of jaundice, no specific treatment is required. For typical jaundice, phototherapy is used, where the baby is placed under special light lamps to help reduce bilirubin levels. The degree of jaundice is measured in all newborns before they are discharged from the hospitals, using a special meter applied to the skin. If the meter indicates high values, a warning signal is triggered, leading to a blood test to further evaluate the bilirubin levels. In rare cases, blood transfusion may be necessary for severe jaundice, but this is extremely uncommon.

Jenny Jansson

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife


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