Newborn Jaundice FAQs

How your pediatrician in Kansas City, MO, can help when your newborn has jaundice

When you have a newborn, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most common conditions a newborn can experience is infant jaundice. Fortunately, your pediatrician knows just what to do. The pediatricians at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, provide comprehensive medical services for children, including newborn care for jaundice.

If your newborn has jaundice, you need to know the facts. These are a few frequently asked questions and answers about newborn jaundice:

What is newborn jaundice?

Newborn jaundice is a condition in which an infant’s eyes and skin appear yellow.

What causes newborn jaundice?

Newborn jaundice is caused by an excess amount of bilirubin in blood cells. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that occurs naturally in red blood cells. When a newborn has too much, the skin and eyes appear jaundiced, or yellow. In some newborns, the liver is not mature enough to rid the bloodstream of bilirubin, causing jaundice.

How can I tell if my newborn has jaundice?

Check your baby in natural sunlight if you can. Gently put your finger on the forehead or nose and release. If the skin appears yellow, your newborn has jaundice. If not, the skin color will appear lighter for a moment, and then return to its natural color.

Can I prevent jaundice in my newborn?

Make sure your baby is feeding enough. Newborns should feed 8 to 12 times a day for the first few days after birth. If your newborn is on formula, your newborn should have 1 to 2 ounces of formula every 2 or 3 hours.

How is jaundice treated?

Most newborns don’t require treatment because the jaundiced appearance will go away in a few weeks. For moderate to severe jaundice, your pediatrician may recommend:

  • Placing your baby under a blue-green light to change the structure of bilirubin so it can be excreted more easily
  • IV immunoglobulin to reduce levels of antibodies in your newborn’s blood
  • Exchange transfusion which is performed rarely in severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments

To learn more about the causes and treatment of jaundice in newborns, talk with the experts. Call the pediatricians at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, at (816) 587-3200. Call now.

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