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How Common Is High Bilirubin?

Beyoncé fans are eager to hear any update on the twins she reportedly gave birth to last week, but with recent reports claiming that the newest Carter babies reportedly have jaundice, the world is even more curious. How common is high bilirubin? Are Beyoncé's babies dealing with something fairly normal? Whenever you hear the words "condition" or "treatment" in regards to a newborn, you're bound to be a little nervous. But as it turns out, high bilirubin counts are fairly common and Beyoncé's twins are joining a large percentage of babies that experience it.

According to TMZ, a source has claimed that Beyoncé's babies were premature and are currently "under the lights." While no more details were given, it's safe to assume that this means the twins are currently undergoing phototherapy to combat high levels of bilirubin, which is a very common occurrence in newborns. In fact, The University of Michigan noted that more than 50 percent of babies experience high bilirubin counts.

So what does that mean? It basically means that a baby's liver isn't fully mature. The Mayo Clinic noted that high levels of bilirubin happen when a baby's liver isn't mature enough to effectively remove bilirubin, a normal part of the pigment "released from the breakdown of 'used' red blood cells," from the baby's bloodstream. Because of this, the bilirubin can give a baby's eyes and skin a yellow discoloration called jaundice.

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Luckily, high bilirubin is rarely dangerous and because it's so common, doctors and nurses are equipped to diagnose it and effectively treat a baby. If Beyoncé's babies are "under the lights," that most likely means they're undergoing the same treatment that many other babies do. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies with high bilirubin counts are placed under special lights to help combat the effects. The lights are absorbed by the baby's skin (they are undressed with eye protection), which then turn the bilirubin in the bloodstream into "products" that efficiently run through a baby's system, noted The University of Michigan. Because of this, babies often have more bowel movements as a side effect of the therapy.

While it can be incredibly scary to see your baby placed under a special light designed to treat their condition, Beyoncé shouldn't feel too frightened. It's rare that high bilirubin counts become dangerous and because it's so common in newborns, treatments are effective and efficient. The twins may have yellow discoloration for a few weeks after, but as long as their bilirubin counts don't get too high, they should be just fine.

Besides, how cute do babies look under those lights with their own set of sunglasses on? Just pretend it's their first spa visit, Bey, and everything will be fine.