Jaundice in Newborns

Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School

Jaundice (yellow skin color) happens in half to three-quarters of all newborns, typically appearing in the first few days of life, when a chemical called bilirubin can build up in a baby's blood and cause the skin to look yellow.

You should always contact your doctor if your baby has jaundice. This guide will help you understand jaundice in newborns and what your baby's doctor will want to do if your baby looks jaundiced.

This guide should not be used if your baby was born more than five weeks before he or she was expected, because premature babies (less than 35 weeks gestation) have different needs.

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Medical Reviewer: Faculty of Harvard Medical School Last Annual Review Date: 2006-10-03T00:00:00-06:00