When Do Babies Develop Jaundice?

Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies, affecting up to 60% of all babies born full-term and 80% of premature babies. It occurs when there is too much bilirubin in the baby’s bloodstream, causing their skin and eyes to turn yellow. In most cases, jaundice is not serious and will clear up on its own within a few weeks. However, it’s important to understand when babies develop jaundice and what to look out for so that you can seek medical attention if necessary.

When Does Jaundice Typically Develop in Babies?

Jaundice usually develops in newborn babies within the first week of life. It may start to appear as early as 2-3 days after birth, and can last for up to 3 weeks. In premature babies, jaundice may take longer to clear up, sometimes lasting up to 6 weeks.

Babies who are breastfed are also more likely to develop jaundice than those who are formula-fed. This is because breast milk can cause jaundice to last longer as it contains a hormone called prolactin, which can slow down the elimination of bilirubin from the baby’s body.

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What Are the Symptoms of Jaundice in Babies?

The most obvious symptom of jaundice in babies is yellowing of the skin and eyes. This can be seen on the face, chest, and abdomen. In some cases, the whites of the eyes may also turn yellow. Other symptoms of jaundice in babies include:

  • Yellowing of the inside of the mouth
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Lethargy and difficulty waking up for feeds
  • High-pitched crying

If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will be able to perform a simple blood test to check your baby’s bilirubin levels and determine the best course of treatment.

What Causes Jaundice in Babies?

Jaundice in babies is usually caused by an excess of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is produced when red blood cells break down. In a healthy body, bilirubin is eliminated by the liver. However, in newborn babies, the liver is not yet fully developed, so it may not be able to eliminate bilirubin as efficiently as it should.

In some cases, jaundice in babies may be caused by other factors, such as:

  • Blood group incompatibility between the mother and baby
  • An infection
  • A liver condition
  • A blockage in the bile ducts

Your doctor will be able to determine the underlying cause of your baby’s jaundice and recommend appropriate treatment.

How Is Jaundice in Babies Treated?

In most cases, jaundice in babies does not require treatment and will clear up on its own within a few weeks. However, if your baby’s bilirubin levels are high, your doctor may recommend phototherapy. This involves exposing your baby’s skin to a special type of light that helps to break down bilirubin in the bloodstream. Your baby may need to stay in the hospital for a few days to receive this treatment.

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If your baby’s jaundice is caused by a different underlying condition, such as an infection or blockage in the bile ducts, your doctor will recommend appropriate treatment.

When Do Babies Develop JaundiceSource: bing.com

Conclusion

Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies that usually develops within the first week of life. While it’s not usually serious, it’s important to understand the symptoms of jaundice and when to seek medical attention. If you notice that your baby’s skin or eyes are turning yellow, or if they are experiencing any other symptoms of jaundice, contact your doctor right away.

In most cases, jaundice in babies will clear up on its own within a few weeks. However, if your baby’s bilirubin levels are high, they may need phototherapy to help break down the bilirubin in their bloodstream. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best course of treatment based on your baby’s individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is jaundice common in newborn babies?

A: Yes, jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies, affecting up to 60% of all babies born full-term and 80% of premature babies.

Q: When does jaundice typically develop in babies?

A: Jaundice usually develops in newborn babies within the first week of life. It may start to appear as early as 2-3 days after birth, and can last for up to 3 weeks. In premature babies, jaundice may take longer to clear up, sometimes lasting up to 6 weeks.

Q: What are the symptoms of jaundice in babies?

A: The most obvious symptom of jaundice in babies is yellowing of the skin and eyes. Other symptoms may include yellowing of the inside of the mouth, pale-colored stools, dark-colored urine, lethargy and difficulty waking up for feeds, and high-pitched crying.

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Q: What causes jaundice in babies?

A: Jaundice in babies is usually caused by an excess of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In some cases, it may be caused by other factors such as blood group incompatibility between the mother and baby, an infection, a liver condition, or a blockage in the bile ducts.

Q: How is jaundice in babies treated?

A: In most cases, jaundice in babies does not require treatment and will clear up on its own within a few weeks. However, if your baby’s bilirubin levels are high, your doctor may recommend phototherapy, which involves exposing your baby’s skin to a special type of light that helps to break down bilirubin in the bloodstream.

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By administrator

I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.

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