Biliary atresia is a rare but serious liver disease that begins to affect newborns in the first month of life. It is the most common reason why children need a liver transplant, and it is life-threatening if it is not treated.
It is very normal to see yellow colour of your baby’s skin or eyes (a condition known as jaundice) in the first few days after birth. However, some babies may have jaundice that lasts longer than two weeks. If your baby has jaundice for longer than two weeks and also has pale yellow, pale green, chalk white, or clay coloured stools, these are warning signs that your baby could have biliary atresia.
Check your baby’s stool colour every day for the first month after birth. If at any time you notice that your baby has an abnormal stool colour (see abnormal stool colours – number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6), please contact us at:
Toll-Free Number: 1-877-583-7842 (1-877-5-TEST-4-BA)
Please make sure that the following information is included in your phone message or email:
- your name and phone number;
- date of your baby’s birth;
- name of the hospital where your baby was born; and
- mother’s first name, last name, and maiden name.
If you decide to go to your doctor as well, take the stool colour card with you. This will help you describe your baby’s symptoms and stool colour to your doctor. And if your baby is older than two weeks of age and is still jaundiced, ask your doctor to order a bilirubin test.
The stool colour card is available in multiple languages (see list on the right) to help with translation. Please note these cards are not intended to be used for the colours. You should always refer to the English card for accurate colours and refer to the translated version for instructions.