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Types of Jaundice
Physiological jaundice (50% of newborns)
Breastfeeding or Malnutrition jaundice (5 to 10% of newborns)
Breastmilk jaundice (1% of newborns)
Rh and ABO blood group incompatibility
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MILD JAUNDICE|
- Some jaundice is present in 50% of newborns.
- It is temporary and usually harmless.
- The first place for jaundice to appear is in the whites of the eyes (sclera).
- Jaundice that only involves the face and eyes is always harmless.
- Bottlefed: If bottle fed, increase the frequency of feedings. Try for an interval of every 2 to 3 hours during the day.
- Breastfed: If breastfed, increase the frequency of feedings. Nurse your baby every 1½ to 2½ hours during the day. Don't let your baby sleep more than 4 hours at night without a feeding.
- Increase Stools:
- If your baby is 5 days or older AND has less than 3 stools/day, carefully insert a lubricated thermometer ½ inch (12 mm) into the anus and gently move it from side to side a few times to stimulate a stool.
- Reason: increased stools carry more bilirubin out of the body
- Do this once or twice per day until jaundice improves or stool frequency becomes normal.
- Expected Course: Physiological jaundice peaks on day 4 or 5 and then gradually disappears over 1-2 weeks.
- Judging Jaundice:
- Jaundice starts on the face and moves downward. Try to determine where it stops.
- View your baby unclothed in natural light near a window.
- Press on the skin with a finger to remove the normal skin tone.
- Then try to assess if the skin is yellow before the pink color returns.
- Move down the body, doing the same. Try to assess where the yellow color stops.
- Jaundice that only involves the face and eyes is always harmless. As it involves the chest, the level is going up. If it involves the abdomen, arms or legs, the bilirubin level needs to be checked.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Jaundice becomes worse
- Legs becomes yellow
- Feeding poorly or weak suck
- Baby starts to act sick or abnormal
- Jaundice not gone by day 14
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 10/11/2011
Last Revised: 10/11/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.