It occurs in 50 to 70 percent of term infants, and as many as 80 percent of preterm infants
Jaundice in newborns is usually physiological, ie. a normal occurrence that occurs due to a natural increase in bilirubin at an early age. It is not contagious and while it is within physiology it should not be treated.
The reason for this jaundice is the increased production of bilirubin at that age and at the same time slower processing in the liver due to immaturity. It occurs in 50 to 70 percent of term infants, and as many as 80 percent of preterm infants.
We must distinguish this physiological appearance of jaundice from the pathological one that occurs in some cases. Jaundice is considered pathological if it occurs very early (in the first 24 hours) or lasts too long (usually longer than two weeks) or bilirubin levels are too high.
Children who are born prematurely, small birth masses, who have suffered a traumatic birth, as well as children of mothers who have diabetes have a greater tendency to pathological jaundice. Also, the mismatch of Rh factor and blood group of mother and child is an additional risk factor for pathological jaundice.