In the term infant, the haemoglobin concentration is high, between 16 and 18 g/dl. Of this 80% is fetal haemoglobin (HbF). HbF has a lower affinity for 2,3-diphosphoglycerite which shifts the haemoglobin-oxygen dissociation curve to the left, leading to maximum oxygen transfer at lower pO2 levels. The proportion of HbF falls gradually during the months after birth and by six months only 5% haemoglobin is HbF.
The relatively high total haemoglobin concentration also declines after birth. Haemoglobin is removed through the formation of bilirubin which is removed by the liver; hepatic immaturity frequently leads to jaundice in the normal newborn infant. Excessive haemolysis or liver impairment can lead to levels of unconjugated bilirubin sufficiently high to cause neurological damage.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.