Your Newborn Babies Appearance

Your Newborn Babies Appearance

Coming into this world from the womb is a transition for all babies can be handled different.   Some cry loudly while others just look around quietly trying to figure out what is going on. Your newborn might look a little different than you first expect - they are wet, wrinkled and curled up when they first arrive.  

Color

Babies may have a gray-blue color when they are first born.  However, this usually goes away as they begin breathing on their own and their circulation is established. 

You may continue to notice though that hands and feet may be somewhat pale or blue, especially when they are cold or crying for the first week or more.

Jaundice

Many full term babies will have a small amount of jaundice, or yellow color of the skin and eyes.  It is even more common in premature babies. This typically happens during the first three to five days after birth and disappears naturally by the end of the first two weeks.

Babies are born with more red blood cells than they need, so the blood cells break down into a yellow substance called bilirubin.  This then gets eliminated from the blood through the liver.

However, most newborns livers are not quite developed enough to handle this, so there can be a buildup in the bloodstream.

Your baby may have a blood test to determine if a medical intervention is necessary to alleviate the excess bilirubin.

Head

You may notice your baby's head having a cone shape at first.  This is because the bones of their skull have not yet fused together.  The bones can be slightly overlapped, this is to help our baby pass through your pelvis.  Within a few days though, your baby's head will be rounded.

If forceps or a vacuum were needed for birth, your baby's head may have some bruising.  The bruising may fade within a couple hours, but could also take a few weeks for the fading to disappear. 

Soft Spots / Fontanels

There are two spots that you will notice feel soft - one on the top of your baby's head and the other is a smaller one on the back of the head.  Until the spaces are covered by the bone, the brain is protected by a tough membrane. Even though the brain is protected by the membrane, it is important for you to be gentle and take precaution to protect your baby’s head.

vernix

Vernix

A white, cheesy substance you may see on your baby's skin at birth.  Vernix protected your baby's skin in the uterus and can be removed by rubbing it into their skin or a bath.

Delay Bathing? Vernix can continue to protect your baby’s skin by helping it retain moisture and stave off bacterial infections. It might help babies latch on too. The scent of vernix might be involved in triggering neural connections in babies’ brain needed for breastfeeding.   The World Health Organization actually now recommends leaving it on for 6 –24 hours.   If you want to delay the bath, be sure to note ahead of time.

baby

Birthmarks

Many baby's are born with “stork bites” or salmon patches.   These are little red marks on the back of the next of on the bridge of the nose.  They will disappear over the first year or so.

Milia

These white, pimple like bumps will disappear on their own.  Milia is evidence that your baby has healthy pores. You can continue to wash your baby's face with water and washcloth as normal while you wait for them to disappear.

Mongolian Spots

They commonly appear on the lower back or buttocks of dark skinned babies and look bluish-black.  They will fade away and disappear completely in a couple years.

Lanugo

You baby may be born with fine, soft hair over large portions of their body.  This is the first hair from your baby's hair follicles and they will fall out over the next several weeks. 

Want to find a Doula?

If you are in the Cincinnati or Dayton, Ohio area – look no further.  Tamara Kankowski is a certified birth and postpartum doula as well as a childbirth educator.   Tamara provides support to families everyday across the region. Tamara has an affordable birth doula package that includes personalized support during your pregnancy, labor and delivery that continues through your first eight weeks postpartum.  Contact Tamara today to set up a free consultation!

If you are outside the area, DoulaMatch.net is a great resource to find doulas in your area or go online and see if there are Meet the Doula events near you!