Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Jaundice of the Newborn - Brief Version
What is jaundice?
Jaundice is when your new baby has yellow looking skin. The
whites of your baby's eyes may be yellow.
This happens for these reasons:
- Normal jaundice. The baby's liver just isn't ready yet
to get rid of the yellow pigment called bilirubin on its
own. This type of jaundice starts when the baby is 2 or
3 days old. It goes away by the time your baby is 2
weeks old. This happens in about half of all babies.
- Breast-feeding jaundice happens when your baby does not
drink enough breast milk.
- Breast-milk jaundice does not happen very often. It
starts when the baby is 4 to 7 days old. It may last 3
to 10 weeks.
- Rh or ABO problems. This serious type of jaundice most
often starts the first day of life.
How can I help my baby with breast-feeding or breast-milk
Breast-feed more often. This can help lower the bilirubin.
- Nurse your baby every 1-and-1/2 to 2-and-1/2 hours.
- If your baby sleeps more than 4 hours at night, awaken
him for a feeding.
Call your baby's doctor right away if:
- You think your baby is not getting enough fluid.
- Your baby has jaundice during the first 24 hours of
- Your baby gets a fever.
- Your baby also starts to look or act sick.
Call your baby's doctor during office hours if:
- Your baby looks deep yellow or orange.
- Your baby is not getting enough milk or gaining weight
- Your baby has fewer than three good-sized BMs per day.
- Your baby has fewer than six wet diapers per day.
- The jaundice is not gone by day 14.
- You have other concerns or questions.