Physiological jaundice of newborn: causes and treatment

Up to 70% of infants in early life encounter with jaundice, which is actually not an illness and needs medical treatment and supervision of a pediatrician. Icteric syndrome occurs in the process of adapting to life outside the mother’s body. Physiological jaundice of newborn is a frequent and natural phenomenon, as the liver of the baby is not ready to process all incoming blood substances. Bilitest will show elevated levels of bilirubin, which normalized after a few days, if not pathologies.

Dangerous jaundice in newborns

In adults, high levels of bilirubin in the blood leads to intoxication, with potential for severe complications, even disability and death. Physiological jaundice of the newborn, in most cases, ends without consequences. As soon as the baby’s liver adapts to external conditions, the symptom disappears. A dangerous pathological jaundice in the premature infants, the percentage of bilirubin in the blood increases, the yellowness is spreading to the whole body, and the disease process is protracted. The most severe consequence is paralysis, it is practically impossible to cure.

The reasons for the development

Causes of jaundice can be divided into two parts:

  • factors influencing skin color;
  • the factors influencing the increased bilirubin.

The color of the skin of the baby is affected by the failure that occurs in his organism in transition from intrauterine to independent life. Bilirubin as a breakdown product of red blood cells is excreted through the liver. Physiology of infants is such that it is removed this product is much less than is produced.
What is the cause of excessive occurrence of this substance in the blood?

  1. insufficient development of the liver of a baby;
  2. infection acquired during fetal development;
  3. mismatch of RH or blood group of the mother and newborn;
  4. high levels of estrogen in mother’s milk;
  5. impunity for past abortions.

Also contributes to the appearance of jaundice of the newborn intestine is sterile, who is temporarily unable to cope with the excretion through the feces decay products of red blood cells. Yellow skin color is not observed in every child, but also increase the levels of bilirubin – a normal birth of a healthy child.

How does physiological jaundice

The first symptoms appear within 1-2 days after birth. The pediatrician in the hospital needs to get this syndrome under control at an early stage to identify when jaundice in newborns is becoming pathological. With the development of conjugated jaundice additionally dryness and peeling of the skin, edema, increased body weight of the baby. Specific signs of zheltushki that do not require the use of medication, are these:

  • the color of urine and stool does not change;
  • the child is calm and has a good appetite, General condition is normal.
  • first, becoming pale yellow whites of the eyes, the skin on the face;
  • gradually turn yellow after a while other parts of the body.


Neonatal jaundice may be delayed and develop. There are a number of signs that give cause for concern. If they fail the past week or two, the jaundice needs to be carefully examined and treated. Here they are:

  • health is becoming worse;
  • change the color of the natural secretions;
  • dark spots appear on the skin, like bruises;
  • the observed increase in childhood liver.

Findings the doctor will make based on the following studies:

  1. the General analysis of blood;
  2. sample Kumbsa;
  3. analysis of the level of bilirubin in the blood;
  4. data of diagnostic ultrasound studies of the liver and spleen.

Bilirubin in neonates in the first week can be high. Critical limit – if the concentration exceeds 300 μmol/liter. There is a table on which you can track the rate of bilirubin based on the data analyses:

Day from birth

Bilirubin (µmol/l)


Up to 60


Up to 250


9-21 (norm)


9-21 (norm)

The treatment of zheltushki in newborns

Physiological pale clouded yellow butterfly, there is no need to cure, it goes away. But if there are some complications, the doctor will prescribe treatments that can reduce and normalize the level of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. Will help dose stay under the PhotoLight (ultraviolet rays), the sun (in the absence of the sun will help quartz lamp). If necessary, the pediatrician may prescribe homeopathy or medication.


Physiological jaundice in newborns is not a disease, improper attention to it can develop into a pathology. To avoid this, after discharge from the hospital should be regularly observed by pediatrician and try to provide the child with breast milk. Complications can cause irreparable harm to the health of the baby.

Video about physiological jaundice

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