Babies can be born with many treatable conditions and Jaundice is one of them.
All babies are born with extra red blood cells that are needed in Utero. When your baby is born its liver is required to break down those extra red blood cells. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, the liver isn’t working as effectively as it needs to. As the liver is working hard to break down the red blood cells it creates a bi-product called Bilirubin.
If the bilirubin builds up in the baby’s system it can cause the skin to appear yellow in colour. The whites of the baby’s eyes may also be yellow.
Mild Jaundice is not a problem and usually fades by the end of the first week of newborn life.
If the Jaundice is more serious and bilirubin levels increase, your baby may require extra support to break down the bilirubin. Techniques used to assist this process are: putting babies under phototherapy lights and regular breastfeeding. This helps to break down the bilirubin levels.
Babies that require treatment for Jaundice will need a longer stay in hospital.
The Doctors and Midwives will keep you informed of treatment required. If you are worried, just ask and hopefully the answers will put your fear aside.