Bilirubin levels in the blood tend to peak when your baby is between three and seven days old. So it's important for your doctor to examine your baby for jaundice during that time.
When your baby is discharged from the hospital, your doctor or nurse will look for jaundice. If your baby has jaundice, your doctor will assess the likelihood of the jaundice being severe based on a number of factors:
- How much bilirubin is in the blood
- Whether your baby was born prematurely
- How well he or she is feeding
- How old your baby is
- Whether your baby has bruising from delivery
- Whether an older sibling also had severe jaundice
Based on these factors, your doctor may recommend an earlier follow-up visit.
When you arrive for your follow-up appointment, be prepared to answer the following questions.
- How well is your baby feeding?
- Is your baby breast-fed or formula-fed?
- How often is he or she feeding?
- How often does your baby have a wet diaper?
- How often is there stool in the diaper?
- Does he or she wake up easily for feeding?
- Does your baby seem sick or weak?
- Have you noticed any changes in the color of your baby's skin or eyes?
- If your baby has jaundice, has the yellow color spread to parts of the body other than the face?
- Has the baby's temperature been stable?
You may also prepare questions to ask your doctor at your follow-up appointment, including:
- Is the jaundice severe?
- What tests will my baby need?
- Do we need to begin treatment for jaundice?
- Will I need to readmit my baby to the hospital?
- When should I schedule a follow-up visit?
- Do you have any brochures about jaundice and proper feeding?
- May I continue current feedings?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
April 03, 2014
- Wong RJ, et al. Clinical manifestations of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Management of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn infant 35 or more weeks of gestation. American Academy of Pediatrics Policy. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/1/297.full.html. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 21st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com /resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=14. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Wong RJ, et al. Evaluation of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.