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Newborn and Infant Care

Normal Bilirubin Level



What is the normal bilirubin leval in a newborn infant. She was preemie 5#13oz. Thanks,


Bilirubin is present in the blood following the breakdown of red blood cells. (red blood cells are constantly being broken down by the body, and replaced with new ones). In the newborn there is an accelerated breakdown of red blood cells, so more bilirubin is present in the newborns blood than is present later in life. Research has shown that 50% of full-term newborns and 80% of preterm infants will be jaundiced on the second or third day of life because of an increased bilirubin. The bilirubin levels generally peak in the term infant between 3 and 5 days of age, and between 5 and 7 days of age in the preterm infant. The level of bilirubin considered normal, (meaning no treatment is needed) depends on a variety of things which include: infant age, infant weight and bilirubin level. 

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati