All About Newborn Jaundice!

aundice in newborn babies is a condition that frightens mothers. After birth, she’ll probably be worried that her baby has neonatal jaundice, “I wonder if these are signs of jaundice?” you will think. Or your baby has jaundice and you’re wondering what you can do. Then you are in the right place! In this article, we answered all the questions about the baby with jaundice!

1. What is neonatal jaundice?

Jaundice is a disease that occurs when a baby has difficulty removing the yellow pigment called bilirubin from the blood.

2. When does the risk of jaundice in a newborn go away?

Bilirubin (the yellow liquid produced by the liver), which causes neonatal jaundice, reaches its highest level during the baby’s 3 to 7 days of age. That’s why it’s important to be examined at that time, don’t forget!

If the baby is discharged within 72 hours after birth, it is recommended to be examined for jaundice within 2 days of leaving the hospital. If your doctor hasn’t made an appointment, you can request a follow-up appointment. After this first week, the risk of jaundice in babies is highly reduced.

3. Degree of jaundice in babies

The bilirubin level we mentioned above reveals the degree of jaundice in babies. This level is revealed in a blood test.

First of all, let’s answer the question of what the yellowness value should be. The normal rate of bilirubin in the blood is 1-2 mg/dl in a newborn baby. In this case , you may wonder what is the jaundice limit in newborn babies . The jaundice limit in infants is 5 mg/dl. In other words, when the amount of bilirubin exceeds 5, the disease begins. Accordingly, the neonatal jaundice bilirubin schedule may be as follows:

Bilirubin valueaffected areajaundice condition
5-8 mg/dlHead and neck turn yellowIt means mild jaundice.
8-10 mg/dlThe upper part of the trunk begins to turn yellow.
10-13 mg/dlThe underside of the body turns yellow.
13-16 mg/dlArms and legs begin to turn yellow.The jaundice is now intensified.
16-20 mg/dlHands and feet turn yellow.The baby may need phototherapy.

4. What causes jaundice in babies?

Physiological jaundice is especially seen in deliveries that occur before the 38th week of pregnancy. In addition, breast milk increases the risk of jaundice in newborn babies.

Pathological jaundice;

  • Hemolytic disease arising from blood incompatibility when seen at birth or in the first days of the baby ,
  • When seen between 1 and 2 weeks after birth, it is caused by the liver’s inability to process bilirubin.
  • In addition, hereditary blood and liver diseases are among the causes, let’s say.

5. What are the signs of jaundice in babies?

“How to recognize jaundice in babies?” Below are the answers to the question:

yellowing of the skin and eyes

This condition usually occurs between the second and fourth days after birth. In this sense, the first thing that will signal you to understand jaundice will be your baby’s face.

Then you may also notice this yellowing on your abdomen, arms and legs. This indicates that the jaundice is more severe.

not eating well

If you’re observing a reluctance to suckle, loss of appetite, and weight loss in your baby, you may consider this a sign of severe jaundice.


The state of your baby who is tired and can hardly wake up from sleep is another indication that he has severe jaundice. In such cases, we recommend that you call your doctor.


Does it turn yellow where you press it?

One of the best ways to check for jaundice is to gently press your finger on your baby’s forehead and nose. If the place you press turns yellow, your baby may have jaundice.

6. How is jaundice in babies treated?

In mild physiological jaundice, the baby does not need any treatment. In some cases, the doctor may want to keep the jaundiced baby in the hospital for observation and treatment. In this case, most of the time, bilirubin values ​​decrease and the patient is discharged from the hospital without any problems.

In newborn babies, jaundice values ​​are increased in rare cases. In this case, usually the doctor’s diagnosis of jaundice is not physiological; that it is pathological. After this diagnosis, radiation therapy, known as phototherapy, is applied for the treatment of jaundice in infants.


It is a treatment performed with blue light that allows the baby to remove the bilirubin pigment from his body. During the application of phototherapy;

  • Your baby is naked.
  • His eyes are closed to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays.
  • A fiber optic cloth may be wrapped around the abdomen.

Apart from phototherapy, there are also treatment options such as blood transfusion and surgery, keep in mind.

7. Can jaundice in newborn babies be treated at home?

Yes, some methods that you can apply at home can be good for newborn jaundice. We said, how is jaundice in babies at home , and we have listed some home treatment methods for you!

Breastfeed more often!

When she breastfeeds her baby more, her intestines work harder. This makes it easier for him to remove the bilirubin pigment from his body along with his poop.

So how many hours should a baby with jaundice be breastfed ? Considering that under normal conditions, newborn babies breastfeed 8 to 12 times a day, you can set the frequency of breastfeeding accordingly into a routine. If she usually sucks 8 times, you can increase this number to 10, and if she sucks 10 times, you can increase it to 12.

See your doctor!

When the baby has trouble sucking, he loses weight and his body becomes dehydrated. You can discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you give your baby expressed breast milk or formula.

Can newborn jaundice be cured with sugar water?

“What is good for jaundice in babies?” When you search, you may come across sugar water information. This information is one of the superstitions that are spread among the people but have no reality. Don’t you think it’s quite unreasonable to give candy to a baby who is not even 1 month old yet? You should not give your baby any medicine or food to treat jaundice without consulting your doctor.

8. When does jaundice in babies go away?

In mild jaundice, the baby recovers between 2 and 3 weeks. In this process, jaundice values ​​in babies gradually decrease. The bilirubin value falls below about 5 mg/dl.

In the case of moderate to severe jaundice, it may be necessary to stay in the neonatal care room for a long time or to be hospitalized for phototherapy.

When will the yellowness in the baby’s eyes go away?

The jaundice in the baby’s eyes begins to subside as the jaundice subsides. In most cases, this jaundice disappears within 2 to 3 weeks. Jaundice that lasts longer than 3 weeks can be a sign of a serious condition.

How long does prolonged jaundice in babies last?

The baby should not appear yellow from the second week. If this is the case, it is called prolonged jaundice. The most common cause of prolonged jaundice is breast milk jaundice. Some babies who are breastfed usually start to become jaundiced as of the first week, and this can last up to 3 months.

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