What is Newborn Jaundice?
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 20, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Jaundice   Newborn  

Does your baby have jaundice? Find out how to handle this problem.

Jaundice in newborns is actually more common than you might think. While seeing your newborn with yellowing skin and eyes may be alarming it’s usually nothing to worry about. When red blood cells breakdown in the body they release a substance known as bilirubin. When your baby’s liver is unable to break down the bilirubin quickly enough this leads to jaundice. Find out how our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctors will treat this problem at Pediatric Care North.

What causes newborn jaundice?

There are several reasons your baby may develop jaundice. Premature babies (babies born before 37 weeks) are more at risk for developing jaundice, as are babies that aren’t getting enough breast milk (or formula) or babies that have a different blood type from their mother.

In some cases, an infection or liver problem could be to blame. While newborn jaundice will often go away on its own within 2-3 weeks, if your baby’s symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks this could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

When will symptoms appear?

Newborn jaundice will typically appear not long after birth (usually within 2-4 days). If you notice your baby’s skin appears yellow, especially when pressing on their skin, this is a telltale sign of jaundice.

Do I need to call a Kansas City Newborn Doctor right away?

While you may not necessarily need to call our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctor right away if your child has symptoms of jaundice, it is important to know when to turn to us for care. Give us a call if your baby’s symptoms get worse or spread, if your baby develops a fever, if they aren’t feeding, or they seem sluggish.

How is newborn jaundice treated?

While many cases of newborn jaundice will go away without treatment, more severe cases will require treatment from a qualified medical professional. One way in which we can treat more serious cases of jaundice in newborns is with phototherapy, which helps to break down bilirubin in the body.

If you notice any health changes in your newborn that have you concerned, you must visit our Kansas City, MO, children’s doctor as soon as possible. The team at Pediatric Care North is dedicated to providing you with immediate, comprehensive pediatric care. To schedule an appointment, call us at (816) 587-3200.

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