Know Some Facts about Neonatal Jaundice

Some of the babies get jaundice just after their birth. Babies of these parents get worried about the yellowing of their baby’s eyes and skin. This yellowing of skin occurs due to jaundice that causes due to the high level of bilirubin. Bilirubin is the waste product of the body which is produced due to the breaking down of the red blood cells. Generally, the red blood cells are broken down in the liver and removed from the body through the stool.

Jaundice is now-a-days a common condition, occurring in babies those who are born before 38 weeks of gestation period. When the liver is not fully grown, it fails to release bilirubin in the blood. Normally jaundice disappears within 2-3 weeks. But in rare cases due to severe jaundice, some of the infants were at risk of brain damage due to severe jaundice.


A baby whose blood group do not match with the mother may develop the antibodies which destroy the red blood cells and lead to rising in the levels of bilirubin. There are some other causes of jaundice too. These are:

  • any type of internal bleeding
  • problem in liver
  • any kind of infection such as syphilis or rubella
  • deficiency in enzyme
  • abnormality in the RBCs
  • hypothyroidism
  • hypoxia

Symptoms of Jaundice

  • drowsiness in babies
  • darkness in urine
  • poor breast sucking
  • the passing of greenish yellow stools
  • yellowish of limbs or abdomen


Doctors mainly recommend testing the babies before the discharge from hospital immediately after 3-4 days of birth. However, the acuteness of jaundice is determined by measuring the bilirubin levels in the blood. It is checked by Serum Bilirubin blood test that is measured by a skin or blood test.

Another test is done by doing the blood count, blood type and Rh factor incompatibility.


Mild jaundice is cured itself by the development of liver. However severe jaundice can be treated by phototherapy in which light is used for the breakdown of the bilirubin in the body. In severe cases, the blood of the baby is withdrawn repeatedly and replaced with the blood of donor. This process is done when the treatment of phototherapy does not work.

Now that you have got detailed information about jaundice, you must also know that jaundice can be prevented too. The chances of occurring jaundice can be reduced by proper feeding of the babies.  The parents must be sure that the baby is getting proper nutrition through breastfeeding. So it is recommended that the parents must carefully monitor the baby for the first five days after birth. If the symptoms such as paleness of skin occur then consult with the doctor immediately.

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