Newborn jaundice is when a baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes look yellow. It often shows up 2 to 3 days after birth. It happens because there’s too much of something called bilirubin in the baby’s blood. This happens because the baby’s liver isn’t fully ready to break it down quickly.

Most babies get a little jaundiced, and it usually goes away by itself in about 10 to 14 days.

But, some babies get more jaundiced and might need to go to the hospital. Jaundice can make a baby sleepy and not want to eat. If a baby doesn’t eat, they can get dehydrated, which can make the jaundice worse. So, if your baby looks jaundiced, it’s good to feed them every 3 hours.

Some babies need treatment with phototherapy. This involves laying them under a special blue light (with their eyes protected) or on a fibre-optic blanket that gives out light at the correct wavelength.

If you are worried about your baby’s jaundice, or if you notice that your baby’s stools are pale/white speak with your community midwife or call NHS 111 for advice.