What Is Newborn Jaundice?
Jaundice is a yellow color seen on the skin of many newborns. It happens when a chemical called bilirubin is formed in the baby’s blood. Jaundice may occur in infants of any race or color.
A: Everyone’s blood contains bilirubin, which comes from red blood cells and is released by the liver. Before birth, the mother’s heart does this for the baby. Most babies undergo jaundice in the first few days after birth as it takes several days for the baby’s liver to be better for the release of bilirubin.
Q: How can I find out if my baby is muffled?
A: The baby’s skin with jaundice usually looks yellow. The best way to see the jaundice is in good light, such as daylight or under fluorescent lamps. Jaundice usually appears first in advance and then moves to the chest, abdomen, arms, and legs when the bilirubin level increases. White-white eyes may also be yellow. Jaundice may be more difficult to see in infants with darker skin tone.
Q: Can jaundice hurt my baby?
A: Most infants have a harmless jaundice, but in exceptional circumstances bilirubin levels can be very high and may cause brain damage. This is why newborns need to be carefully diagnosed for jaundice and treated to avoid high levels of bilirubin.
Phototherapy is a UV light treatment. It is used in some cases of jaundice in newborns to lower the level of bilirubin in your baby’s blood through a process called photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation adds oxygen to bilirubin to be easily soluble in water and easily processed by liver.