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What is newborn jaundice?

If you have recently had a baby in an Indiana hospital, you may have noticed a yellow tinge to your baby's skin or the whites of his or her eyes. This is an indication of a condition called jaundice. Medical News Today defines jaundice as the buildup of bilirubin your baby's body after birth. His or her body may not be able to break down the extra bilirubin, which is a side effect of exiting the womb. Therefore, it stays in the body.

Left untreated, serious injury can occur to your baby. He or she may suffer brain damage and possibly death if this condition is not properly treated. Generally, though, through using special lights, exposing the baby to sunlight and ensuring he or she gets proper nutrition, the condition will go away on its own. However, further steps may need to be taken, such as blood transfusions.

Doctors generally check a baby in the hospital for jaundice. However, it may take time to show up, which is why it is important to keep the follow up appointment, which is usually a week after birth. However, if you notice yellowing of the eyes or skin, poor feeding, drowsiness or irritability, you may want to seek doctor's care sooner. The faster treatment is administered the quicker the recovery and the fewer chances of complications.

Jaundice is most common in premature and breastfed babies. In most cases, it clears up easily with treatment, but it may also be an indication of an underlying medical condition, such as liver problems or sickle cell anemia. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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