Causes of jaundice in newborn babies
Jaundice is caused by a build-up of bilirubin - a chemical that occurs naturally in your baby's blood.
Newborn babies' livers are slower at removing bilirubin from their blood. When babies are 2 weeks old, their livers are better at removing bilirubin. This means they should no longer have jaundice.
Breastfed babies are more likely to get jaundice than formula-fed babies. It is unclear why breastfeeding increases a baby's risk of developing jaundice.
Jaundice can sometimes be caused by more serious conditions, like:
- an infection
- mother and baby's blood groups being incompatible
- abnormalities in the baby's blood cells
- liver problems
Always see your GP or public health nurse if you think your baby is jaundiced.