Jaundice is a common condition in newborns during the first few weeks of life. Before babies are born, they need extra red blood cells. Once they are born and begin breathing air, they no longer need as many red blood cells and the extras must be broken down by the body. A by-product of this process is a substance called bilirubin which causes the yellowish skin color characteristic of jaundice. The bilirubin is processed by the baby’s liver and is eliminated through the stools. This process occurs smoothly in the majority of newborns and at least 50% of breastfed newborns will experience some level of newborn jaundice. Some research has shown that bilirubin, which is an antioxidant, may actually benefit newborns. In many cases all that is required with newborn jaundice is monitoring. With frequent breastfeeding, most babies will pass enough stools to keep their bilirubin levels within safe limits and breastfeeding can continue uninterrupted.