Every investigator of the cause of icterus neonatorum agrees that immediately after birth the number of red blood corpuscles and the hemoglobin index are high and that these values decrease for a few hours after birth. After the second or third day these values steadily decrease until the normal physiologic levels are reached. The great destruction of red blood cells that occurs during the decrease leads to the large accumulation of bile pigment in the blood stream which is the direct cause of the jaundice.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Lénárt1 was the first to note that the pains of labor greatly influence the behavior of the red blood cells in the fetus. According to his theory the chorionic villi are injured during labor, and through these injuries the maternal iso-agglutinin and isohemolysin enter the fetal blood stream, where by iso-agglutination and isohemolysis the red blood cells are destroyed. After
HORVÁTH Z, HOLLÓSI C. BIRTH PAINS AND THE BLOOD OF THE NEW-BORN. Am J Dis Child. 1935;49(3):689-694. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1935.01970030135011