Jaundice is very common in newborns and it is especially common in preemies. Jaundice is when your babys’ skin, as well as the whites of their eyes, has a yellow appearance. Bilirubin is the cause of jaundice; bilirubin is a substance built up in your childs’ blood. When children have jaundice there is an excess of bilirubin, often attributed the babys immature liver failing to rid the extra bilirubin. Somewhere around 60% of newborns have jaundice; the percentage is even higher for preemies. Have no worry as jaundice is usually relatively harmless and easily treatable. If your baby has jaundice, you will probably notice around the 2-4th day after birth. The treatment for jaundice is phototherapy(or light therapy). Light in the blue-green spectrum is emitted and cast upon your child for fixed time intervals periodically. Do not poison your mind reading about extreme cases of jaundice. We literally live in the post-pardum and NICU unit, we see babies every day with jaundice undergoing phototherapy. It will be the least of your worries if you are a parent especially a preemie parent.
When to contact your doctor
Although babies are checked for jaundice before hospital discharge, some cases are missed by physicians. Contact your doctor if the skin becomes more yellow, the eyes become yellow, you baby is difficult to awaken, your baby makes high pitched cries, your babies skin has a yellow tint to it.
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