Jaundice is a common in newborns, usually occurring in the second or third day of life. Neonatal jaundice usually refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells, which is a result of the liver not being fully mature. Your baby’s doctor may recommend a blood test be done in the newborn period to determine the level of Bilirubin. Jaundice usually goes away within one week, but may last a few days longer in breast fed babies (Don’t let this affect your feeding schedule, it just means that it may take a little longer to get bilirubin levels down). If levels are higher than acceptable, special therapy can be prescribed.
To read a study on newborn jaundice at high altitudes visit the National Institute of Health. In Colorado babies are 39% more likely to have newborn jaundice compared to newborns born at sea level.