Seeing your baby for the first time is a powerful moment. The little one you've been imagining all these months has finally made her way into the world and all you can do is stare at her in wonder. So what do you do if something looks a little off? Even after the baby is cleaned up by the nurses, you may notice a tint to your child's eyes. But why are baby's eyes a little yellow sometimes? It has to do with a substance called bilirubin, and don't worry, it doesn't last forever.
It may be shocking to stare into your baby's eyes and notice those whites are not so bright, but it's a very common symptom of jaundice that many baby's have. It's usually most noticeable right after birth, since the baby's body hasn't had enough time to process the bilirubin and release it from her little body, as Healthline explained. This is the job of the liver, and although your baby's liver may be perfectly healthy, it's possible that it's just not developed enough to work all the bilirubin out at a speedy pace. Unless your baby's jaundice is severe (which is typically 25 milligrams or above) it's a very normal and harmless condition that will fade in a few weeks, according to the website for Kid's Health.
Although many babies have jaundice, Mayo Clinic reported there are some risk factors which could increase the chance jaundice in your baby. These include blood type of mother and baby, bruising during delivery, premature birth, and trouble breastfeeding. Even if your baby has a higher probability of being born with jaundice, don't panic. The condition is easily treated.
According to the website for The March Of Dimes, jaundice typically goes away with breastfeeding and light therapy. As the baby takes in nutrients from breastmilk, she can pass bilirubin out of the body with bowel movements. Otherwise, hospitals are equipped with special lights that encourage the bilirubin to be released through the baby's urine. Either option can help your baby release bilirubin and those yellow eyes will brighten to white.
Familiarizing yourself with different conditions before your baby arrives can save you from a lot of worry. Even something like a little yellow in baby's eyes that may look frightening, can turn out to be common and treatable.