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Pediatric Associates of Livingston


Newborn baby boyJaundice refers to the yellow color that some babies manifest between the second and fourth day of life. The baby has jaundice when bilirubin, which is produced naturally by the body, builds up faster than a newborn’s liver can break it down and get rid of it in the baby’s stool. This happens because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • The baby’s developing liver is not yet able to remove the bilirubin from the blood.
  • More bilirubin is being made than the liver can handle.
  • Too much of the bilirubin is reabsorbed from the intestines before the baby gets rid of it in the stool.

Too much bilirubin makes a jaundiced baby’s skin look yellow. This yellow color will appear first on the face, then on the chest and stomach, and finally, on the legs. Mild to moderate levels of jaundice do not require any treatment. If the levels of jaundice do not clear up on its own, your baby may be treated with special lights or other treatment. If possible, this treatment will be done at home and followed closely by your pediatrician.