Checking For Jaundice

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It is best to check for jaundice during the day using natural light. Hold the baby near a door or window.


Starting from the face, using your finger gently but firmly press on the skin and quickly let go.

If the area that you pressed looks yellow the baby has jaundice.

Work your way down from the face to the legs.

If the yellow colour is only on the face then the jaundice is quite mild.

  1. Make sure that baby has sufficient fluids especially milk as it contains glucose necessary for conjugation of bilirubin.
  2. Place the baby near a bright window during the day.
  3. It is not really necessary to put baby in the sun as baby may become over heated by the sun’s rays. Alternately, the baby may become chilled if there is a strong wind blowing.
  4. If you are breast feeding it is best that you do not take any ginger for the first 10 days after delivery as ginger will make it harder for the liver to work on the unconjugated bilirubin.

If the face and body are yellow, then the jaundice is quite high.

  1. You must take your baby back to the hospital immediately. Don’t waste time going to an outside clinic.
  2. Your baby needs a blood test to determine the bilirubin level and immediate treatment if the level is high.
  3. If at any time your baby is very sleepy and refuses to feed even if she looks mildly jaundiced you must seek medical attention immediately.
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