Jaundice is a blood condition which commonly affects newborn babies. In normal cases, when red blood cells are broken down, a yellow pigment called bilirubin is produced and cleared by kidneys and liver. As the liver of newborn babies is relatively immature, it is unable to get rid of the yellow pigment which results in its accumulation. This causes the characteristic yellow hue of the skin.
- It usually appears about 3-4 days after birth.
- yellowing of the skin
- yellowing of the white of the eye
- baby may be more sleepy than usual
Jaundice usually clears up on its own in about ten days. Depending on the severity of the condition, jaundice may be treated in different ways:
Do note that if the jaundice is because of a liver disease, it may need to be treated differently. For this reason, a blood test is carried out in your newborn before initiating phototherapy.