Jaundice | When to Worry | Parents

Jaundice | When to Worry | Parents


Does your beautiful new baby look a little
yellow? It’s probably jaundice. Jaundice is a common condition among newborns that causes
a yellowing of the skin. The color comes from something called bilirubin, the waste product
of red blood cells. It’s normally removed by the liver. Because your baby’s liver is
still developing, bilirubin can build up. Here are three steps to take if you’re concerned.
Check your baby’s eyes. Jaundice typically starts in the head and works its way down
the body, but it also causes a yellowing in the whites of your baby’s eyes. Feed your
baby as much as possible. Jaundice usually disappears on its own after a few weeks, when
your baby’s liver fully matures. The more he eats, the sooner it will go away. Ask your
doctor to evaluate him. All newborns should have their first checkup three to five days
after birth when jaundice usually peaks. Your pediatrician can do a blood test to see if
your baby needs special treatment. If your child has a yellowish cast and is sleepy or
not feeding well, he needs to see a doctor right away. Very rarely, severe jaundice that’s
left untreated can cause brain damage. But luckily, jaundice is easy to treat. Your baby
may be put under special lights called phototherapy. And before you know it, his gorgeous rosy
skin will be back.

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