Almost all kids born on this earth will get jaundice.
The reason why a newborn gets jaundice is not because their liver is affected. It’s because when they are inside womb, they have a different hemoglobin called as fetal hemoglobin. As soon as they come out, it has to change to adult hemoglobin. The destruction of those old cells result in liberation of a chemical called as bilirubin which gives yellowish hue to a child. This phenomena is exaggerated in few patients e.g.
- if mother’s blood is O positive and baby’s blood group is A, B or AB or,
- if mother’s blood group is Rhesus negative and baby’s blood group is positive.
It normally develops around day 3 and disappears on day 7. If it develops earlier than that or crosses a particular limit, the doctor may want to do bilirubin level and would like to compare the values with certain normograms available. If it is beyond a limit, child has to be admitted for phototherapy. If it’s mild only, one can expose the baby to sunlight which will take care.