Jaundice of the newborn is caused by an excess of bilirubin. This strange name substance results from the elimination of red blood cells by the body: it is a pigment that gives for example their coloring to urine and stool. Normally, bilirubin is "treated" by the liver. But in the case of infants, it happens very frequently that it is in excess in the blood, the liver, not yet developed enough, can not absorb it, which gives the yellow color, characteristic of the disease, to the skin and to the mucous membranes by transparency.
A very common affection
Physiological jaundice, the scientific name for jaundice, is the most common and common manifestation of the disease, and usually affects babies 24 to 48 hours after the birth. Apart from its yellow color, the newborn has no other abnormal symptoms; in this case jaundice does not present any particular risk for its health and disappears normally in less than 3 weeks.
What you must remember
The vast majority of cases of infantile jaundice are benign, the disease gradually subsiding by itself. However, the management of your child by the doctors is necessary to check that the bilirubin level does not increase and does not become toxic, because the neurological risks are very important in case of nuclear jaundice, a severe form of the disease.