Early onset jaundice in the newborn: understanding the ongoing care of mother and baby
Neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia or jaundice is a relatively common condition in newborn babies presenting with changes to eythrocyte metabolism after day three of life. Early onset jaundice is less common and arises on day one from a pathological process. This paper outlines a case study of a baby presenting with this condition due to ABO blood group incompatibility who was admitted from the postnatal ward to the neonatal unit (NNU). The article will focus on the period after initial interventions on admission to the NNU and the ongoing care issues thereafter. Both clinical and psychoemotional care issues for the baby and family are raised. It is important that midwives understand what care is delivered during the neonatal unit stay so that they can empathise and assist with family coping strategies following the separation of baby from the parents at an often emotionally charged time.