Newborn Care Week 2022: Common Health Issues In Newborn Babies & Their Prevention

Doctor lists out common issues in newborns and how parents can prevent them.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Nov 19, 2022 13:35 IST
Newborn Care Week 2022: Common Health Issues In Newborn Babies & Their Prevention

Neonatal care is very important as a lot of newborns suffer from several issues in this critical age. The mother's health, consciousness, education, and mothering abilities all play a role in the health and wellbeing of the newborn child. Dr. Sindhura Munukuntla, Consultant Paediatrician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad talks about numerous newborn issues that are common and how to prevent them.

Umbilical Cord

Routine care includes exposure to air and help the cord dry.It usually separates within a week after birth. If delayed it should be discussed with your pediatrician as it may be due to immunodeficiency  or infection.

Hormonal Withdrawal

In the womb fetus is under the influence of mother’s hormones. After delivery due to withdrawal of these hormones newborns may have vaginal discharge,bleeding from vagina,swelling of breast ,milk production from their breast.New parents need not worry about these symptoms as they are temporary and no active interventions are required.

Jaundice

Physiological jaundice is common in newborn and is harmless. When a newborn has yellowish discoloration of skin and eyes, newborn should be taken to your pediatrician to see whether jaundice  is normal or abnormal.Keeping newborn baby in Sun is not recommended as it is not effective in reducing jaundice and baby has risk of having dehydration and sunburn.

Also Read: What Is Breast Milk Jaundice? Know Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Tips

Common Health Issues In Newborns

Fever

Any fever (temp >100.4F) in newborn is abnormal.If newborn has fever,baby should be immediately reviewed with your pediatrician as the newborn has less immunity and the infection can easily spread to important organs like brain and cause risk to baby’s life.

Hiccups, Sneezing And Yawning

These physiological body responses are normal for healthy newborn babies.New parents should see the presence of these as positive attributes of healthy baby rather than worrying.

Eyes

Eyes should be cleaned daily with sterile cotton swabs soaked in sterile water using one swab for each eye.The practice of applying kajal in the eyes is not recommended because it may transmit infection and may also cause lead poisoning in newborn.

Natal Teeth

These are the teeth which are erupted at birth.Usually lower jaw teeth. These teeth at birth has to be removed by your doctor if loose as it may cause problems in breast feeding and also risk of aspiration if they dislodge.

Natal teeth

Nasal Stuffiness

As their nasal airways are very small, newborns are more prone to nasal obstruction, especially at night. New parents should rest confident that the nasal blockage is typical if it does not interfere with the baby's ability to feed and the infant is otherwise healthy.

Sucking Pads/Blisters

These are clear blisters seen on lips,fingers,hand or wrist. It is caused because of friction due to repeated sucking.It usually resolves spontaneously.

Crying

Its normal for baby to be tense,angry,red faced while crying and draw up legs and hands with tense abdomen.Reason for crying can be simple issues like hunger,soiled diaper,too hot or too cold environment,tired,overstimulated or serious issues like infection etc.

Colic

Sudden unexplained inconsolable crying usually lasting for 1-2 hours. When a baby is sobbing intermittently but generally acting normally, parents should feel comforted. After excluding medical causes,during episodes baby should be held and soothed,prone across lap and rub back,swaddle.Cycling movements of the legs and gentle massage by mother may soothe baby.

Also Read: Know Symptoms and Treatment for Colic In Newborns

Diaper Rash

Also known as Nappy Rash is due to exposure of the newborn to urine and stools. This can be prevented by frequent diaper changes,exposure of diaper region to allow drying and if severe application of creams containing zinc oxide.

Common Queries By Parents

Can I Feed Water To My Baby?

No. Baby should be exclusively breast fed for first 6 months including summer season.Breast milk is sufficient to meet the hunger and thirst needs of baby for first 6 months.

My baby doesn’t burp easily and how long to burp?

Baby’s should be burped after feed to remove the swallowed air during feeding.It is unnecessary to persist burping if baby doesn’t burp after a 20 minutes.

Also Read: The Importance Of Making The Baby Burp After Feeding And Right Ways To Do

Is My Babies Weight Gain Adequate?

Newborn babies lose 6-10% of birth weight in initial days and regain birth weight by 10 days of life.By 1 month they approximately gain 1 kg and subsequently 20gm per day till 5 months and 15gm/day from 5 to 12 months.Babies usually double weight by 4-5 months and triple birth weight by 1 year.

Why My Baby Passing Green Stools?

During first 48 hours baby passes sticky thick dark green or black stools called meconium. With onset of feeding stools gradually change colour to yellow and becomes softer.

Infrequent stools is not a sign of constipation as long as stools are soft ,baby feeding well and gaining weight.

Mother is the best doctor for her baby. She has the advantages of instinct,concern and interest to take care of her baby.Early involvement of the mother in taking care of her baby is the best way to promote breastfeeding.As the mother constantly and closely watches her baby she can identify even minor issues with her baby,there by getting the best for her baby.

Image credits- freepik

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