Parents of newborns may be taken aback when the doctor says the child has jaundice.
However, it's a common condition and usually nothing to be worried about.
Holly Firfer has the details in today's Health Minute.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 60 percent of full-term babies have jaundice.
"Jaundice is yellow color of the skin," says Dr. Robert Wiskind of Peachtree Park Pediatrics. "It's caused by the pigment Bilirubin. Newborns typically have a slightly higher amount so its very common for newborns to have some yellow color to the skin."
There are several types of jaundice, but the most common one is called physiological jaundice and usually goes away on its own.
Another type is breast milk jaundice.
"One of the reasons why babies have a higher level of Bilirubin is because of breast-feeding because with the way that breast milk is digested in the body," says Dr. Wiskind. "Ii causes the body to retain Bilirubin.
Breastfeeding jaundice occurs when the baby is not getting enough breast milk.
Jaundice can also occur when the baby's blood type is different from the mother's.
In most cases, jaundice will go away within two weeks,
In more severe cases, an ultraviolent light or phototherapy is used.
"That converts the Bilirubin into a form that's more easily excreted out of the body, and the nice thing now is the technology allows us to often do this at home," Dr. Wiskind says.