Newborn jaundice - everything you should know

Newborn jaundice is very common. Is a physiological change resulting from excess bilirubin in the blood. It arises because the liver of a newborn baby is not mature enough. Especially often jaundice is diagnosed in infants born before 38 weeks of pregnancy. In most cases, no treatment is necessary, in others non-invasive methods are effective. However, this topic should not be ignored - in severe situations, untreated jaundice in a newborn can lead to brain damage.

Newborn jaundice: symptoms

Newborn jaundice usually appears between 2 and 4 days after delivery and disappears by itself when the baby is about two weeks old. The most common symptoms indicating this anomaly are:

  • yellowing of the skin
  • yellowing of the whites of the eyes
  • dark yellow urine (should be colorless),
  • light pile (it should be yellow or orange).

For unknown reasons, breastfeeding increases the risk of developing jaundice. This fact should not, however, discourage natural feeding. It has so many advantages that it easily outweighs this inconvenience.

A simple test that indicates your child has jaundice

It is estimated that 6 out of 10 children have jaundice. When a newborn baby is born prematurely, the numbers are larger and the proportion looks different - 8 in 10 cases of jaundice in premature babies are reported. Only 1 in 20 children have bilirubin levels in the blood that are so high that treatment is needed.

If you want to check if your child develops jaundice, press your finger lightly on the child's forehead or nose, if the skin does not change color, is slightly yellow, the baby has jaundice. However, if after touching the skin has a slightly more delicate shade, lighter than the epidermis in the area, there is no problem. The test is best done in natural daylight. It is usually not necessary to assess yourself if your child has a different skin tone.

Newborn jaundice is diagnosed in hospital or possibly by midwife on patronage visits. The problem may appear between 2 and 7 days after delivery at the latest, it is during this period that you should be particularly vigilant.

Jaundice - when do you have to see a doctor?

Child jaundice should be monitored. The absolute indication for visiting a doctor is:

  • the impression of increasingly intense skin color,
  • apathy in a child,
  • difficulty waking a child from sleep,
  • Difficulty feeding your baby
  • not gaining weight,
  • high-pitched sounds of a baby,
  • no improvement in the appearance of the skin after a week,
  • the presence of jaundice at 3 weeks of age.

Jaundice rarely has serious causes. Most often it disappears on its own, without additional interference, it rarely requires exposure. Only in very few cases (especially when it develops on the first day after delivery) can it have more serious sources, for example, due to bacterial, viral, sepsis, blood and mother incompatibilities, enzyme deficiency, and liver problems.

Read what exposure to jaundice looks like and when it is ordered.