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Jaundice means that the skin, the whites of the eyes, the mucous membranes in the mouth, and some tissues in the body are yellowish. Jaundice is caused by an increase in bilirubin, a substance that results from the breakdown of red blood cells.
Babies normally are born with more red blood cells than they will need after birth. As their bodies get rid of these extra red blood cells, bilirubin is produced. When the bilirubin is deposited in tissues, it causes a yellowish color. As your baby begins to get rid of the bilirubin, the jaundice will go away. This takes several days.
Your baby's health care provider and nurses will look for signs of jaundice while your baby is in the hospital. If your baby's eyes or skin turn a yellowish color after you are
home, call your baby's health care provider and make an appointment.
The treatment for jaundice is simple. Feed your baby often. This helps her get rid of the bilirubin in stools and urine. Some babies need to spend time under special lights to
help break down the bilirubin. These lights look like fluorescent bulbs or are part of a special fiberoptic blanket.
When to call your health care provider
Call your health care provider to make an appointment if: