Jaundice | Symptoms

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How can I tell if my baby has jaundice?

You should watch for color changes in your baby's skin. You should also check the whites of your baby's eyes and the pink skin inside your baby's mouth. If they get yellowish, you may want to see your baby's doctor. If your baby has pale skin, it should look white when you gently press it with your fingertips. If the skin looks yellow, your baby may have jaundice. If your baby has darker skin, it may be harder to check, except by looking at your baby's eyes and inside your baby's mouth.

Artificial light, especially fluorescent lights, can sometimes fool your eyes into seeing a yellow color that is not really there. So you might want to check your baby in daylight in a sunny room.

As the amount of bilirubin in the blood increases, your baby's body will get more yellow. As the bilirubin level rises, the yellow color can move from your baby's head down to the chest and even down to the toes.

Source

Hyperbilirubinemia in the Term Newborn by ML Porter, CPT, MC, USA, and BL Dennis, MAJ, MC, USA (American Family Physician February 15, 2002, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020215/599.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/10
Created: 04/03

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