Your Newborn's Body

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you may be surprised by a few things about your newborn that are really quite normal. 

Birthmarks. These common spots and stains are usually harmless, and many eventually disappear on their own. 

Baby laying on the floorBlood. It’s not uncommon to see a tiny bit of blood in your daughter’s diaper for the first couple of weeks. The withdrawal of maternal hormones after birth causes this tiny bit of vaginal bleeding. 

Breasts. Your hormones are still in your baby’s system. These hormones may cause breast tissue to grow slightly, in both girls and boys. These baby breasts may last for a few months but then should go away. 

Cord color. Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will turn yellow and then brown or black first before falling off on its own. 

Jaundice. This is a condition that makes a newborn’s skin and the white part of the eyes look yellow. It happens because there is too much bilirubin in the baby’s blood. Bilirubin is a substance that is made when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Jaundice is easily treated by placing the baby under a special bilirubin light for a few minutes at the hospital. If your baby is diagnosed with jaundice, he will need a follow-up exam within the first five days after birth. Call your doctor if the yellow color gets brighter after your baby is 3 days old.

Odd movements. Newborns’ bodies are ruled by reflexes. His chin, arms or legs may seem shaky, especially when crying. 

Other skin conditions. Rashes and other skin conditions are common in newborns. Typically, they will go away in a few weeks without treatment.

Rapid breathing. Your newborn’s breathing may pause for up to 10 seconds and then resume normally. This is normal. Healthy newborns average 40 breaths a minute (adults take 12 to 18). 

Soft spots. The two soft areas on your baby’s head are known as fontanels. When your child cries, they may bulge. The soft spots may pulse along with his heartbeat. 

If you think your child may be ill, or if something just doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and call your doctor.

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