BabyBirth preparationBirth preparationParenting

As a new parent you may have heard about ‘jaundice’ in your antenatal classes, you may have heard other parents or family members speak about it, or it may be something entirely new. Either way, hearing about jaundice can often be alarming. The best antidote to this fear is information – information about what to look out for and where to turn, and the reassurance that this is extremely common and usually resolves without treatment in 10 to 14 days after birth. 

 

Neonatal jaundice is yellowing of the skin and whites of your babies’ eyes (sclera) caused by high levels of bilirubin – a yellowish substance found in red blood cells, a waste product excreted by the liver. This substance is also responsible for brown/yellow poop and the yellow colour in a bruise.  When babies are born they will have lots of extra red blood cells owing to the constant blood supply from the placenta (also often from delayed chord clamping) this is perfectly normal. This in turn means lots of extra bilirubin. 

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