Here’s the answer in my book:
This yellowing of the skin is called jaundice and it affects more than 50% of newborns. Jaundice appears in the first couple of days on the face then on the body and usually disappears on its own during the first weeks. It can be worse in breastfed newborns in the first days so be sure to feed very often to maintain hydration. Depending on the severity, it may be necessary to stay in (or go back to) the hospital so that your newborn can be given a type of light therapy (phototherapy) treatment.
Jaundice is caused by an excess of Bilirubin which is normally taken out of the body by the liver. In utero, the mother’s liver did the job but after birth it can take the baby’s liver a little time to catch up and take over the process during which time jaundice can occur. This type of jaundice is called “physiologic”. It can also develop in the second and third week in breastfed newborns via a different mechanism. See a doctor but keep breastfeeding. If you are at home and concerned, see a doctor immediately as untreated jaundice can be dangerous.
This is what I experienced:
Two of my kids had jaundice. My first was born 18 days late (yes, they let it go that far in NL). We were still in the hospital when he turned a yellowish shade so he was given light therapy but was allowed to stay with me. They put what looked like a heating pad on his skin, underneath his pyjama. It was bright light. Couple of days and we were good to go… My third child Olivia, was however was a different story. We were sent home a couple of hours after she was born (another typical Dutch thing) - I hadn’t had any complications so off we went. The next day she was very yellow… I had a nurse come over and check on her and we were immediately sent to the hospital. Olivia had to go into intensive care, naked, with eye patches on and some seriously intense light. That was hard, going back to the hospital and having to let her go. I remember looking around and seeing the other kids in intensive care and thinking - phew… we are the lucky ones. They let me spend the night at the hospital but we didn’t sleep together. Took her almost 3 days to return to a normal color and we’ve never looked back.
The other 2 remained pink, except for the occasional yellow face paint that’s impossible to get off. It leaves exactly the yellowish tint that the other 2 had as newborns.