Common Causes Behind Neonatal Jaundice

Although this health issue is a scary one for many parents, you should know that there are some common causes neonatal jaundice. In the majority of the cases, it happens because the liver of the baby isn’t mature enough to eliminate bilirubin from the blood. There are some medical conditions as well that can lead to jaundice.

Common Causes Behind Neonatal Jaundice

Physiologic jaundice

This is the cause leading to jaundice in most cases. It is known that the liver has a major role to play in the breakdown of bilirubin.

The bilirubin causing jaundice is known as indirect or unconjugated. In order to eliminate it, the baby’s liver has to turn it into direct or conjugated bilirubin so that it can be excreted.

Since the liver of babies isn’t mature enough, it will lead to the common origins of neonatal jaundice. Since bilirubin can’t be broken down, it will build up and it will make the skin look yellow. As the liver matures, the symptom will quickly disappear. If only this factor is present, the jaundice is called physiologic jaundice.

Neonatal jaundice

This one of the common causes of neonatal jaundice appears when the blood of the mother isn’t compatible with the blood of the baby. As a result the red blood cells will be broken down and through the process bilirubin is released.

Some other origins that are common for neonatal jaundice

The healthy red blood cells can be destroyed through hemolysis that can also cause jaundice. It is also possible for the baby to have been born with an excess of red blood cells. This is known as polycythemia. In case the mother has diabetes, it is possible for the baby to be affected by jaundice.


When thinking about the common causes of neonatal jaundice you should know that during the birth process the head of the baby could be bruised. This is known as a cephalohematoma. In fact the bruise is a made of clotted blood under the surface of the skin.

The neonatal jaundice’s common cause appears because the body has to break down the clotted blood and there will be a large amount of bilirubin released. Since there is a surge of bilirubin, the liver of the baby can’t face it yet and this is why the baby will be affected by jaundice.

There are some other common causes neonatal jaundice to know about as well.


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