Photo-Therapy Treatment For Jaundice in New Born Baby 

Rent Bili-Blanket in India for New Born Baby Jaundice Treatment

header photo


Your Baby, Jaundice, and Phototherapy

What is Jaundice?  

Jaundice is a common, temporary. and usually harmless condition in newborn infants. It affects both full-term and premature babies, usually appearing during the first week of the baby's life.

Jaundice occurs when there is a build-up of a naturally occurring substance in the blood called bilirubin . Bilirubin is an orange/red pigment in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It is normal for everyone to have low levels of bilirubin in their blood. As bilirubin begins to build up, it deposits on the fatty tissue under the skin causing the baby's skin and whites of the baby's eyes to appear yellow.

What are the Causes of Jaundice?

Jaundice can be caused by several different problems:

  • Physiological jaundice: This is the most common cause of newborn jaundice and occurs in more than 50% of babies. Because the baby has an immature liver, bilirubin is processed slower. The jaundice first appears at 2 to 3 days of age. It usually disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age, and the levels of bilirubin are harmless.
  • Breast-feeding jaundice: Breast-feeding jaundice may occur when your baby does not drink enough breast milk. It occurs in 5% to 10% of newborns. The jaundice symptoms are similar to those of physiological jaundice, just more pronounced. The jaundice indicates a need for help with breast-feeding.
  • Breast-milk jaundice: Breast-milk jaundice occurs in 1% to 2% of breast-fed babies. It is caused by a special substance that some mothers produce in their milk. This substance causes your baby's intestine to absorb more bilirubin back into his body than normal. This type of jaundice starts at 4 to 7 days of age. It may last 3 to 10 weeks. It is not harmful.
  • Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): If a baby and mother have different blood types, sometimes the mother produces antibodies that destroy the newborn's red blood cells. This causes a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby's blood. This serious type of jaundice usually begins during the first 24 hours of life. Rh problems formerly caused the most severe form of jaundice. However, they are now preventable if the mother is given an injection of RhoGAM within 72 hours after delivery. This prevents her from forming antibodies that might endanger other babies she has in the future

What is the Treatment?

High levels of bilirubin can occur in the blood called hyperbilirubinemia. These high levels can be dangerous to a baby. It is important to obtain periodic blood samples to check the bilirubin levels and, if necessary, to treat jaundice to ensure the healthy development of your child. Feeding your baby every 2- 3 hours is recommended to reduce the jaundice levels. If you are breastfeeding, supplementation (ex. with formula via cup feeding, supplemental feeder, or bottle) may be recommended by your pediatrician if the bilirubin will not come down with frequent feedings. Phototherapy with or without a biliblanket is the most common form of treatment for jaundice. This treatment is used for a few days until the liver is mature enough to handle the bilirubin on its own.

What is Phototherapy?

Some “normal” jaundice will disappear within a week or two without treatment. Other babies will require treatment because of the severity of the jaundice, the cause of the jaundice, or how old the baby is when jaundice appears.

Phototherapy (light treatment) is the process of using light to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. Your baby's skin and blood absorb these light waves. These light waves are absorbed by your baby's skin and blood and change bilirubin into products, which can pass through their system.

For over 30 years, phototherapy treatment in the hospital has been provided by a row of lights or a spotlight suspended at a distance form a baby. This would provide light shining directly on an undressed baby (with diaper on) whose eyes would need protection from the light with soft eye patches applied. Today, advancements in technology have led to a new phototherapy system which gives effective treatment without the inconveniences of conventional phototherapy treatment.

Are there Side Effects of Using Phototherapy?

Babies under any type of phototherapy treatment will have frequent and loose bowel movements that are sometimes greenish in color. This is normal since this is the way the body removes the bilirubin. This will be temporary and should stop when treatment is completed. Contact your doctor if it persists after treatment is completed.

What is the BiliBlanket?

Your doctor may prescribe the biliblanket as an alternative and/or additional treatment for you child's jaundice. This system uses fiber optics and represents advanced technology in phototherapy treatment given in the hospital or at home.

The biliblanket provides the highest level of therapeutic light available to treat your baby. This form of light is also found in sunlight. The strength of light form the biliblanket is about the same, as you would get in the shade on a sunny day, yet is safer because the biliblanket filters out potentially harmful ultraviolet and infrared energy.

A pad of woven fibers is used to transport light from a light source to your baby. This covered fiberoptic pad is placed directly against your baby to bathe the skin in light. Absorption of this light leads to the elimination of bilirubin.

The biliblanket can be used 24 hours a day to provide continuous treatment if prescribed by your doctor. Blood may be drawn and tested during treatment to check bilirubin levels and determine when normal levels are reached and phototherapy is no longer needed.

With this convenient form of phototherapy your child can be diapered, clothed, held, and nursed during treatment.

Can my baby sleep on a biliblanket?

Yes. Your hospital will outline the schedule for your child's treatment. However, the biliblanket can be used 24 hours a day for as long as necessary.

Why is my baby's skin ‘bleached or reddened' where the biliblanket pad has been in contact with the skin?

The skin in direct contact with the pad is the first area where bilirubin is broken down. This breakdown process is not harmful; in fact, it contributes to the treatment of your baby and causes this portion of skin to turn to its normal color. As the treatment process continues, bilirubin is removed from the blood and the rest of the skin. As the bilirubin is lowered to acceptable levels, all of you baby's skin will return to its normal color.

Will my baby be rotated on the pad to treat all of his/her skin?

No, only a small portion of the bilirubin is in the fatty tissue of the skin. The majority of the bilirubin is in the blood. The circulation of the blood will bring the bilirubin to the lighted area where it will be broken down.

It is important that the plain lighted area of the covered pad-the area without writing- is against the baby's skin at all times during treatment. Clothing can then be applied over the system.

How long will the biliblanket be used on my baby?

The length of time phototherapy treatment is needed varies from one baby to the next as each baby's condition is different. Your health care provider will prescribe the amount of time your baby will be on the biliblanket each day.

Most babies have phototherapy treatment for several days. Your baby's bilirubin level will be tested during treatment, usually by a small sample of blood taken from the baby's heel. These tests will determine when normal levels of bilirubin are reached and phototherapy is no longer needed.

What Is The Difference Between Home & Hospital Treatment?

For over 30 years, phototherapy treatment has been used in hospitals.  Hospital treatment involves rows of lights shining directly on an undressed baby (with diaper on) whose eyes would need protection from the light with soft eye patches applied.Technology advancements have led to home phototherapy treatment through the use of BiliBlankets. The blanket is tied to baby (usually on the back) and a pad of woven fibers is used to transport light to your baby.
Home treatment is quite popular with parents, doctors, and insurance companies because you avoid higher costs of inpatient treatment. With home phototherapy, your child can be diapered, clothed, held, and nursed during treatment.  Some also consider it a better option because the newborn does not have to be separated from the parents and does not need to lie alone in a box with their eyes covered.

Phototherapy involves shining fluorescent light from the bili lights on bare skin. A specific wavelength of light can break down bilirubin into a form that the body can get rid of through the urine and stools. The light looks blue. The newborn is placed under the lights without clothes or just wearing a diaper


Normal values of total bilirubin are from 0.3 to 1.0 mg/dL. In a newborn, higher bilirubin is normal due to the stress of birth. Normal bilirubin in a new born would be under 5 mg/dL, but many newborns have some kind of jaundice and bilirubin levels above 5 mg/dL 


Bilirubin (bill-uh-ROO-bin) is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, it passes through the liver, which releases it into the intestines as bile (a liquid that helps with digestion).

Jaundice happens when bilirubin builds up faster than a newborn's liver can break it down and pass it from the body. Here are some reasons why:

  • Newborns make more bilirubin than adults do since they have more turnover of red blood cells.
  • A newborn baby's still-developing liver might not be able to remove enough bilirubin from the blood.
  • A baby's intestines absorb bilirubin that would normally leave the body in the stool (poop).

Severe jaundice (when levels of bilirubin are high, usually above 25 mg) that is not treated can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of brain damage. In rare cases, jaundice may be a sign of of another condition, such as an infection or a thyroid problem.

Doctors recommend that all infants be checked for jaundice within a few days of birth.





biliblanket is a portable phototherapy device for the treatment of neonatal jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia). The name is a combination of bilirubin and blanket. Other names used are home phototherapy system, bilirubin blanket, or phototherapy blanket. 



Phototherapy for jaundice involves a blue/white light of varying intensity placed close to the skin or touching it through a special, light-permeable fabric.

The whole setup consists of the light generator, termed the light box, the fibre-optic cable through which the light is carried and the light pad, which is a 25cmx13cm (10"x5") pad that's attached to the baby. Home phototherapy is not dangerous and reports suggesting that babies have been burned by biliblankets have not been proven, and are generally accepted as myths.


Bili-Blanket Machine

What level of bilirubin requires phototherapy?

Phototherapy should be instituted when the total serum bilirubin level is at or above 15 mg per dL (257 mol per L) in infants 25 to 48 hours old, 18 mg per dL (308 mol per L) in infants 49 to 72 hours old, and 20 mg per dL (342 mol per L) in infants older than 72 hours.

How long does a baby have jaundice?

The jaundice first appears at 2 to 3 days of age. It usually disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age, and the levels of bilirubin are harmless. Breast-feeding jaundice: Breast-feeding jaundice may occur when your baby does not drink enough breast milk. It occurs in 5% to 10% of newborns.

Bili-Blanket Do's & Dont's

DO make sure the light source box is on a flat, non-absorbent surface. Do not place on carpet or sit on the crib mattress.
DO make sure as much of the infant’s skin is in direct contact with the light pad. Diapers should be worn.
DO have the disposable cover as the ONLY material between the light-emitting side of the pad and infant’s skin. Clothing may be worn over the pad.
DO leave the light pad on when holding or feeding your baby.
DO turn off light when bathing your infant.
DO change the disposable cover if it becomes soiled.
DO use a 3-prong plug for safety.
DO set the intensity knob on the light box to the highest setting.

DON’T use the light-emitting pad without a disposable cover.
DON’T directly expose your baby’s eyes to the covered light pad.
DON’T sit anything on top of the light source box or the fiber optic cable.