A definite yellow hue confirms a baby’s jaundice, but more testing may be required to assess the severity of jaundice. If a baby develops jaundice during the first 24 hours of life, bilirubin levels should be checked right away, either through the following tests:
If an underlying condition causes a baby’s jaundice, additional tests may be required. This may involve a complete blood count (CBC), blood type, and Rhesus factor (Rh) incompatibility test for your infant. A Coombs test may also be performed to look for increased red blood cell breakdown.
As a baby’s liver matures, mild newborn jaundice usually goes away independently. Babies will be able to move bilirubin through their bodies if they are fed often (8 to 12 times per day). Other therapies may be required if the jaundice is severe. Phototherapy is a common and highly effective treatment that employs light to help your baby’s body break down bilirubin.
Your infant will be put on a unique bed beneath a blue spectrum light while just wearing a diaper and unique protective eyewear during phototherapy. You can also use a fiber-optic blanket to keep your infant warm.
An exchange transfusion, in which a baby receives modest amounts of blood from a donor or a blood bank, may be required in extreme instances. This replaces the damaged red blood cells in the baby’s blood with healthy red blood cells. This boosts the baby’s red blood cell count while lowering bilirubin levels.