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Jaundice in babies

jaundice; phototherapy; yellow; ;

Two or three days after birth you may notice that your baby's skin has a yellow colour - this is called jaundice. Jaundice can be seen in the first week or so in about 60% of full term babies (babies who are born after about 38 weeks of pregnancy). It is even more common in babies who are born early or who are sick.

Some babies will need treatment for the jaundice, while for most the jaundice will not last long (between 1 and 2 weeks) and not cause problems even without treatment.

If babies have a high level of bilirubin (the substance that causes jaundice) they may need to have phototherapy (treatment with a very bright light). The bilirubin level needs to be very high before it causes health problems for a baby.

More information about jaundice in babies

Topic 'Why is my baby yellow? - neonatal jaundice' on the Pregnancy part of our website. 


Raising Children Network (Raising Children website is produced with the help of an extensive network including the Australian Government)

Pregnancy, birth and baby  Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a national Australian Government service providing support and information for expecting parents and parents of children, from birth to 5 years of age.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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