10 Common Conditions of Newborns
As parents, we always want what’s best for our children. We want to protect them from everything that will cause them harm and pain. Hence, it is better for us to be geared up and knowledgeable about a lot of things, specially newborn facts and knowledge because during these months our little angel couldn’t tell us what they are feeling. It’s up to us to notice the symptoms for it to be aided right away.
What are the common conditions that newborns experience?
1. Birth Injuries
Yes, babies can actually get injured as early as during birth. These injuries often occur when labor is difficult or long, also if the baby’s size is too large. Baby’s bones are not as sturdy as adult bones. Babies are actually very squishy and fragile, but they also recover fast when injured because their body is still developing and growing. However, there are some injuries that persist like having a small lump on the area if your baby had a broken collar bone during labor, but don’t be alarmed because this lump is a sign that a new bone is forming to mend the broken one, and in no time, it will be good as new.
Some babies also experience muscle weakness during labor due to stretching and pressure of the nerves attached to the muscle, but it will generally return to normal after a few weeks.
2. Blue Baby
Babies can’t regulate their temperature the same way as adults do, so there are times that their feet and hands are blue or purple, don’t fret, it’s normal. They turn blue because they are cold, but it will eventually return to normal or in a pinkish shade when they are warm.
However, if the baby is frequently turning purple or blue, then there might be a problem with the baby’s heart and lungs. The baby is not getting enough oxygen in the blood. Call your doctor immediately when you notice this, because this case needs immediate medical attention.
3. Abdominal Distension
Baby’s belly is normally big, it sticks out which makes them cuter and irresistible than they already are. It gets more bigger when they are fed, however, between feeding their bellies should feel soft. So, if your baby’s belly feels hard and is swollen, accumulated with not having a bowel movement for two days, call your pediatrician right away.
The problem is usually due to gas or constipation, nonetheless, it can also be a symptom of a more serious intestinal issue.
4. Unusual Bowel Movements
Speaking of bowel movements, newborns will experience bowel movements like Meconium. Your baby’s first bowel movements or two should be black or dark green, it is meconium, the substance that fills your baby’s intestines before she is born. If your baby doesn't have a black or dark green stool in the next 48 hours after she is born, further evaluation and examination should be done to make sure nothing is wrong.
5. Blood in stool
Occasionally, newborns will have blood in their stool. If it occurs during the first few days, it usually means your baby has a little crack in their anus from stooling. Although this is harmless, make sure you let your pediatrician know because there are other causes that require further examination and treatment.
6. Umbilical Cord Problems
Sometimes when the umbilical cord has fallen off instead of drying completely, the cord will form a granuloma--a small, reddened mass of scar tissue--that stays on the belly button. This condition usually goes away in about a week, but if not, call your doctor right away. Your pediatrician may need to burn off the granulomatous tissue.
Around the time the stump falls off, you may notice a few drops of blood on the diaper as you are caring for your baby’s umbilical cord. No worries, this is normal. Nevertheless, if the stump actively bleeds, call your baby’s doctor right away because if you don’t, the stump gets more infected, it will require more medical treatment.
If you notice some of the following, call your baby’s doctor right away:
- Foul-smelling yellowish discharge from the cord
- Red skin around the base of the cord
- Crying when you touch the cord or the skin next to it
Always take note of your baby’s umbilical cord when she cries, if the umbilical cord’s area seems to push outward, she may have an umbilical hernia.
Umbilical Hernia is a small hole in the muscular part of the abdominal wall that allows the tissue to bulge out when there is increased abdominal pressure. Although this is not a serious condition as it heals in the next twelve to eighteen months, you need to notice and take note of this because if it doesn't heal by three to five years of age, the hole may need some surgery.
Avoid causing skin rash in the area, don’t put a coin or a tape on the navel as it won’t help with the hernia.
7. Respiratory Distress
Newborn babies normally take a few hours after birth to form a normal breathing pattern and should have no difficulty breathing after that.
However, if your baby seems to be breathing in an unusual pattern or manner, usually it is caused by mucus blocking the nasal passages. You may fix the problem by using nasal drops and suctioning the mucus using a bulb syringe afterwards.
If your newborn shows any of the following warning signs, notify your pediatrician immediately:
- Fast breathing (more than sixty breaths in one minute), although keep in mind that babies normally breathe more rapidly than adults
- Retractions (sucking in the muscles between the ribs with each breath, so that her ribs stick out)
- Flaring of her nose
- Grunting while breathing
- Persistent blue skin coloring
8. Lethargy and Sleepiness
It is normal for newborns to spend most of their time sleeping and wake up every few hours to eat and be active. However, if your baby doesn’t seem to be alert and active, and does not wake up on her own for feeding, notify your pediatrician right away as this may be a symptom for a serious illness.
Mild jaundice is harmless, in fact it is normal for babies to have a yellowish tinge in their skin. It is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the child's blood. However, it can also lead to a brain injury if the bilirubin level continues to rise and is not treated.
Most hospitals now screen jaundice 24 hrs after the baby is born. Jaundice normally appears first in the face, then the chest and abdomen, and finally the arms and legs in some cases. If the pediatrician suspects jaundice may be present, she may order a skin or blood test to definitively diagnose the condition.
Babies usually cough when they drink too much and very fast as well, but this type of coughing usually stops as they get accustomed to their feeding routine. If she coughs persistently or routinely gags during feedings, consult the pediatrician. These symptoms could indicate an underlying problem in the lungs or digestive tract.
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