Bilirubin is yellowish in color and produced when red blood cells are broken down. Normal newborn hospital care includes assessment of bilirubin levels using transcutaneous checks and interpretation of bilirubin levels based on hours since birth with the use of tools. Further testing is needed to confirm it.
Bilirubin is removed from the bloodstream by the liver and it can be hard for some babies, especially preterm and late preterm, to get rid of the excess bilirubin that causes jaundice. Suboptimal intake is the most common reason for jaundice in the first week. Most breastfed infants will have some level of jaundice for the first two to three weeks postpartum.
- Jaundice Resources, Stanford University
Image used with permission. Credit: Stanford School of Medicine