Infant Jaundice Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Infant Jaundice - A Common Condition In New Born Babies

What is infant jaundice?

The yellow discoloration of the infant jaundice tends to appear in the eyes and skin of a newborn baby. It occurs due to the excessive bilirubin in a baby’s blood. Bilrubin is the yellow pigment of rbc.

The condition is quite common specifically in breast-fed and preterm babies. It mostly occurs due to the immature liver of a baby which is not prepared for disposing off the bilirubin present in their bloodstream. However, in few cases, a causal disease can also trigger jaundice.

Mostly, no medical treatment is required for treating infant jaundice, however in some cases; the condition can need treatment, where noninvasive therapy has proved to be an effective treatment since years. Rarely, infant jaundice leads complications, however high level of bilirubin linked with jaundice which is inadequately treated or severe case of infant jaundice can cause serious brain damage.

What are the symptoms of infant jaundice?

Well, yellowing of sclera and skin is a prominent sign of the condition that mostly appears after 2-3 days of birth.

What are the causes of infant jaundice?

As mentioned before, excessive bilirubin tends to be the major cause of infant jaundice. When the red blood cells, (that are responsible for supplying oxygen throughout our body) break down, its results in producing a yellow substance called bilirubin. Bilirubin then moves on in our bloodstream to liver. Its form is then change by the liver in order to pass out from our body through stools. In case the liver fails disposing of or the blood contains excessive bilirubin, it tends to cause jaundice.

Infants have an increased red blood cells level in their blood which is frequently broken down plus replaced. Since, the liver of newborn infants is not completely developed, thus, it less effectively process and remove bilirubin from their blood causing infant jaundice.

Few causal diseases or disorder can also cause infant jaundice such as hemorrhage, sepsis, liver malfunction, other bacterial or viral infections, enzyme deficiency, incompatibility between baby’s and mother’s blood, red blood cells abnormality that break them.

What are the risk factors of infant jaundice?

Certain risk factors specifically severe jaundice which can lead certain complications includes:

  • In case the baby gets bruises during delivery.
  • Different blood groups of the mother and baby.
  • Premature birth.
  • Breast-fed babies.

How is infant jaundice diagnosed?

The appearance of the baby serves as the basis for the doctor to diagnose infant jaundice. Though, he will measure the birbulin’s level in the baby’s blood. its level determine what treatment course the baby will need. For determining jaundice, the doctor can suggest the following tests:

  • Blood test.
  • Physical exam.
  • Skin test using a device named trancutaneous bilirubinometer.

How is infant jaundice treated?

Usually, mild cases of infant jaundice tend to disappear itself within 2-3 weeks. However for severe or moderate cases of jaundice, the baby need to medical order to lower bilirubin’s level in the blood of the baby, treatments include:

  • Phototherapy.
  • Exchange transfusion.
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg).

Home remedies:

In case, infant jaundice is mild, the doctor can suggest feeding changes in order to lover bilirubin’s levels. Few steps can reduce jaundice:

  • Indirect sunlight exposure at home.
  • Frequent feedings.


Adequate feeding is the greatest prevention of the condition. Breast-fed babies must have 10 to 14 feedings every day for their first initial days of life. Moreover, formula-fed babies must consume 1-2 ounces of formula milk after every 2-3 hours in the initial week of their lives.


By : Natural Health News

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