I had to deal with jaundice twice in my life. I once experienced jaundice as a symptom related to having Hepatitis A. But it was more troubling for me when my younger son was born with neonatal jaundice caused by Rh blood type autoantibodies.
For me, the neonatal jaundice was the most traumatic, because it meant being separated from my newborn son. He had to stay at the hospital where he was treated with a Bili light. The light exposes the infant to intensive phototherapy.
It wasn’t difficult for the doctors to identify the jaundice because of his yellow skin and yellowed whites of his eyes.
Although I’ve read different articles about how neonatal jaundice is nothing to worry about, that wasn’t my experience. I’m not saying I ever had to worry that my son might die from jaundice. But it was extremely upsetting that I couldn’t be with him for several days after he was born. I remember crying when the doctor told me he would have to stay in the neo-natal unit to receive treatment for his jaundice.
Some of my friends insisted I could ask to take home a portable Bili light to use at home, but I trusted the medical professionals to take care of my son. After three days of labor and a c-section, I’m not sure I was up to a do-it-yourself type treatment for neonatal jaundice.
My own personal experience with jaundice had nothing to do with my son’s jaundice. His jaundice, according to the doctors, was caused by the Rh factor. I had a negative blood type, while he had a positive blood type. I was never treated for the Rh factor because of a lack of information, which meant I had the Rh blood type autoantibodies by the time he was born.
In my own situation, I experienced what the doctor called “intra-hepatic jaundice,” due to a viral hepatitis A infection. The jaundice, along with the yellowing of my skin and the whites of the eyes, eventually cleared up with no treatment. Since hepatitis is a kind of inflammation of the liver, it makes sense that I experienced jaundice.
The doctor said my jaundice was caused because the pigments in my blood were not being cleared by my inflamed liver.
Some of the negative reactions caused by the jaundice that I recall include itching of my skin. I also felt tired for about two weeks.
In the end, my son recovered completely from his jaundice at birth. I also don’t any lingering medical problems related to jaundice.