Complications of Jaundice in Babies: When to Seek Medical Attention?

Jaundice in babies - Sriramakrishnahospital

Jaundice is a very common problem in kids who are just born. Most babies get it in their first few days or weeks. Most cases of jaundice are not caused by a disease or something else serious, and they get better quickly on their own.

Jaundice is caused by bilirubin, which is a yellow pigment. Red blood cells that have broken down are turned into bilirubin by the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. The liver then gets rid of the bilirubin by making bile, which goes into the stool. Jaundice happens when the body can’t get rid of bilirubin fast enough and there are too many of it in the blood. When bilirubin builds up, it turns the skin and the whites of the eyes yellow.

What is bilirubin? How is it defined?

Bilirubin is a yellowish-brown that is found in bile, which is fluid made by the liver. It is made by the liver. It is made when red blood cells break down, and the body gets rid of it on its own. Bilirubin can get into the blood when the liver isn’t able to handle it. 

If your baby’s bilirubin levels are normal for a newborn, the doctor will let you take your baby home.

What are the symptoms that indicate jaundice in infants?

Early signs and symptoms of jaundice in babies include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, which usually starts in the face and moves down the body.
  • Yellow skin that turns red when a little pressure is put on it. 

If you have extreme jaundice, you may be showing signs of an underlying health problem, such as:

  • High fever
  • The symptoms have worsened over time. 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Deepened yellow color of the skin

If you notice any of these signs, reach out to your doctor to seek best jaundice treatment in Coimbatore.

What are the different types of jaundice in babies?

Breastfeeding jaundice:

Babies who are breastfed are more likely to get jaundice than babies who are fed formula. During your baby’s first week of life, jaundice is often caused by breastfeeding. When your baby doesn’t get enough breast milk, this can happen. It can happen if you have trouble feeding or if your milk hasn’t come in yet. Jaundice caused by breastfeeding might take longer to go away.

Physiological jaundice:

Physiological jaundice is the most common type of jaundice in babies. The yellow looks like this. Most babies get physiological jaundice by their second or third day of life. After your baby’s liver grows, it will start to get rid of jaundice that is too high of a level. Most of the time, physiologic jaundice isn’t dangerous and goes away on its own in two weeks.

Is jaundice common in newborns and babies?

Jaundice is very common in babies who have just been born. Jaundice can happen to up to 60% of full-term babies during their first week of life. Up to 80% of babies born before their due date get jaundice in their first week of life.

What are the various complications of jaundice in babies?

Few of the jaundice complications can include, 

Most cases of jaundice in babies are caused by their bodies and should go away on their own. But a doctor will check on your baby in a week as part of the standard postnatal check-up. This is when your baby’s doctor will be able to check on him or her and tell you if he or she needs more care.

When should you visit your doctor for jaundice in babies?

  • Deepened yellow color: Skin that turns very yellow or orange is something to worry about. This is especially true if the yellow colour moves to the arms or legs.
  • Poor feeding: Your baby might have trouble nursing or drinking from a bottle of formula. Jaundice can get worse if you don’t eat enough.
  • Extreme dehydration: Signs of dehydration (lack of fluid) are dark pee, no tears, and not enough wet diapers. If you’re worried about your baby getting dehydrated, keep in mind that kids younger than 6 months can only drink formula or breast milk, never water. A baby or young child can get very sick if they drink pure water or if they add more water to their formula.
  • Unable to gain or lose weight
  • Irritated or fuzzy

What is the treatment for jaundice in newborn babies?

Mild jaundice goes away on its own after a week or two, when the baby’s body has gotten rid of the extra bilirubin. It’s important that your baby eats well because that helps him or her move his or her bowels, which lets the jaundice leave the body through the intestines. To make sure of this, your doctor may tell you to give formula in addition to nursing.

If your baby’s bilirubin levels are much higher than usual, you may be told to do one of two things to get them down quickly to safe levels:


Phototherapy is a way to treat jaundice by putting your baby in front of a special light. This method lets the skin soak up the light. This changes the way the bilirubin is made, making it easier for your baby to get rid of.

Blood transfusions:

If your baby’s jaundice is caused by a health problem, like the mother’s blood type not being compatible with the baby’s, your doctor may suggest a different jaundice management depending on the condition of the baby.

What are the tips to prevent jaundice in babies?

Make sure your baby gets enough to eat in the days after they are born to help avoid jaundice or keep it from getting worse. This is done to keep them from getting too thirsty and to help the jaundice move through their bodies faster. Your baby should be fed every 2 to 3 hours.

At the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing that jaundice in newborns is normal. All you have to do is know the signs that something might not be right and when you should go to the gastroenterologist in Coimbatore.

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