Here are some of the common issues faced by parents in Newborns:
- Telangietatic nevi (Stork bites) are pale pink or red spots found around the eyelids, nose, or neck. You can see them more clearly when the baby cries. They don’t cause any problems and will fade over time.
- ‘Mongolian spots’ are bluish-black pigmentations found around the buttocks. They are common in babies with dark skin. They don’t cause any problems and will fade by the first or second birthday.
- Nevus flammeus (Port-wine stains) are sharply defined red-to-purple areas that usually appear on the face. They do not grow but they also do not fade with time.
- Nevus vasculosus (Strawberry marks) are clearly defined, raised, dark red areas that most often appear on the head. They initially increase in size and then will gradually shrink over time.
- Milia raised, white spots that a baby may have over their nose and sometimes face. These are exposed to sebaceous glands and are considered normal and will fade over time.
- Erythema toxicum (Newborn rash) is a rash of small white or yellow pimples that may appear suddenly, usually over a baby’s chest, tummy, and the nappy area within the first week of life. The cause is unknown and no treatment is necessary. They will disappear but may take some time.
- Jaundice affects many newborns. The baby’s skin appears slightly yellow in the first few days of life. It isn’t usually serious but in some cases, a test may be required to measure the level of a substance called bilirubin in the baby’s blood. If the bilirubin is considered higher than normal, then the baby will be encouraged to drink more and may be placed under special blue lights for a period of time until jaundice has subsided. If you’d like to know more about jaundice, speak with your doctor.
- Some newborn babies have sticky eyes in the early days and weeks after birth. It’s not serious and will usually just go away. You can use cool boiled water to clean your baby’s eyes. If it persists, talk to your doctor.
- Sometimes, newborn girls may have a small amount of vaginal discharge – a thick, white mucus that may sometimes be tinged with blood. This is called pseudomenstruation and happens because your baby is no longer getting your hormones through the placenta. It’s perfectly normal. A white cheese-like substance called smegma is often found under the labia. Again, it’s normal.
- There’s no need to retract your baby boy’s uncircumcised foreskin: it will roll back by itself when he is about 3-4 years of age. There are a lot of different opinions about the risks and potential benefits of circumcision. There is no medical reason to routinely circumcise baby boys.
- Umbilical cord care
- At first, your baby’s umbilical cord is white, thick, and jelly-like. Within one or two hours of birth, it will begin to dry and it will fall off within 7 to 10 days. The umbilical cord stump may release a little discharge and this often occurs on the day it falls off, or just after. You can clean the area with cotton buds moistened in cool, boiled water, and dry it with another cotton bud. Talk to your doctor, if bleeding continues, or if it becomes red, weeping, or swollen.
Dr. Nakul Kothari, Associate Consultant – Emergency Medicine, NICU & PICU, NH SRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai