Some common health problems of the newborn baby include vomiting, regurgitation, diarrhea, constipation, excessive crying, colic, inability to latch on, etc.
A baby is a bundle of joy, but along with happiness comes a lot of responsibility. As a new parent, you need to be aware of the common health problems that your baby may face in the first few months after birth. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common health issues that newborn babies experience, and we will also provide tips on how to deal with them.
Neonates may have some physical or physiological problems that need to be addressed in the first few months of their lives to detect any possible pathology. Some common health problems of the newborn baby include:
Vomiting and regurgitation
It is very common for newborn babies to vomit or regurgitate after feeding. This is usually because their stomach is still very small, and they are unable to hold large amounts of food, faulty feeding technique, and swallowed air while sucking. As your baby’s stomach grows, this problem will resolve itself. In the meantime, you can try burping your baby after each feed or feeding them smaller amounts more frequently.
The breastfed baby passes two to six times soft, yellowish stools per day. The number of bowel movements may increase to ten times a day during the first few days after birth. This is perfectly normal and is a result of the change in diet from amniotic fluid to breast milk. As your baby’s digestive system matures, the number of bowel movements will decrease. If your baby is formula-fed, their stools will be firmer and less frequent.
Diarrhea is also common in newborn babies and is usually caused by a change in diet, such as when the baby is introduced to solid food. It can also be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, unhygienic feeding practices, overfeeding, and bottle feeding. If your baby has diarrhea, it is important to increase their fluid intake and make sure they are getting enough electrolytes. You should also contact your healthcare provider if the diarrhea is severe or lasts for more than a few days.
If your baby has watery, bloody, or mucus-filled stools, this may be a sign of a more serious condition and you should seek medical help immediately.
Constipation is another common digestive problem in newborn babies. It is defined as hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. It can be caused by a change in diet, dehydration, inadequate feed, or a lack of dietary fiber.
If your baby is constipated, you can try giving them more water or fruit juice, massaging their tummy, improving breastfeeding, or giving them a warm bath. You should also contact your healthcare provider if constipation persists or is severe.
Newborn babies cry a lot, and this is normal. Crying is their only way of communicating their needs. However, if your baby is crying excessively, it may be a sign of hunger, pain, discomfort, unpleasant sensation of the full bladder before passing urine, painful passing of hard stool, wet nappies, insect bites, loneliness, lack of mothering, or illness.
If your baby is crying excessively, try to determine the cause and address it accordingly. If you cannot figure out the reason, or if the crying persists, contact your healthcare provider.
Colic is a condition characterized by excessive crying, often in the evening, for no apparent reason. It usually starts around two to three weeks after birth and lasts for three months or more. The exact cause of colic is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of factors, such as gastrointestinal problems, food intolerance, and an immature nervous system.
If your baby has colic, try to soothe them by rocking them, walking with them, patting, kissing, prone position, or giving them a warm bath. You can also try gripe water, which is a herbal remedy that may help to relieve colic. If the colic persists, contact your healthcare provider.
Newborn babies sleep a lot, usually 16 to 18 hours per day. It is not a cause of concern. They should be kept aroused during breastfeeding by tickling their feet or talking to them.
However, if your baby is excessively sleepy and hard to wake up, it may be a sign of jaundice. Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow. It is caused by a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is produced when red blood cells are broken down. If you think your baby has jaundice, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They will likely recommend that you take your baby to the hospital for a blood test.
Inability to latch on
If your baby is having difficulty latching on during breastfeeding, it may be due to several factors, such as an incorrect latch, tongue-tie, or mouth pain.
Try to reposition your baby and try again. If you are still having difficulty, contact a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider for help.
Due to inadequate feeding, healthy neonates may develop a fever during the second and third days of life, especially in the summer months. The temperature usually returns to normal within 12-24 hours. It is managed by adequate breastfeeding and lowering the environmental temperature.
Dehydration is a condition that occurs when there is not enough water in the body. It can be caused by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or insufficient fluid intake. If you think your baby is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They will likely recommend that you take your baby to the hospital for treatment.
Sneezing and nose block
Sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose are common in newborn babies. It is usually due to nasal irritation by amniotic fluid, blood, meconium, debris, etc.
To relieve sneezing and a stuffy nose, you can clean the nose with cotton and use saline drops or spray. You can also suction the nose with a rubber bulb syringe. If the sneezing and stuffy nose persist, contact your healthcare provider.
Hiccups are common in newborn babies and usually occur after a feeding. They are caused by spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. Hiccups usually go away on their own and do not require treatment. However, if they persist for more than 48 hours, contact your healthcare provider.
Napkin rash is a common condition that occurs when the skin comes into contact with urine or feces. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction to a new detergent, fabric softener, or diaper.
To treat napkin rash, clean the area with warm water and mild soap. Apply a barrier cream or ointment to the area. If the rash persists, contact your healthcare provider.
Breath-holding spells are common in newborn babies and usually occur when they are upset or angry. They can last for a few seconds to a minute and are caused by an involuntary reflex. Breath-holding spells do not cause any harm to the baby and usually go away on their own. However, if they persist, contact your healthcare provider.
Bilateral engorgement and swelling of breasts occur in babies due to sudden withdrawal of maternal hormones. No management is needed and it recovers in 2-3 weeks.
Avoid any local massage and squeezing to express the milk.
Vaginal bleeding and mucoid secretions
Vaginal bleeding (pseudo-menstruation) and mucoid secretions are common in newborn babies and usually occur due to the withdrawal of maternal hormones. No treatment is needed and it usually resolves within a few days. Only general cleaning of genitals should be done. However, if the bleeding persists or is heavy, contact your healthcare provider.
Phimosis is the inability to retract the foreskin. It is a normal condition in newborn babies and usually resolves on its own within the first few years of life. No treatment is needed.
Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow. It is caused by an accumulation of bilirubin, a yellow pigment that is produced when red blood cells break down. Jaundice is common in newborns and usually appears on the second or third day after birth.
Most babies with jaundice will recover without any treatment, but some may require phototherapy, in which the baby is exposed to special lights that help break down bilirubin. In rare cases, jaundice can lead to more serious health problems, such as kernicterus, which is a type of brain damage.
If you think your baby may have jaundice, it is important to see a doctor or other healthcare provider right away.
Caput succedaneum is a condition that causes swelling and bruising on the scalp. It is caused by pressure on the head during delivery and is more common in babies who are delivered vaginally.
Most cases of caput succedaneum will resolve on their own within a few days, but some may require treatment. Treatment for caput succedaneum usually involves managing the pain and swelling with over-the-counter medications.
Cephalohematoma is a condition that causes bleeding under the scalp. It is caused by trauma to the head during delivery and is more common in babies who are delivered vaginally.
Cephalohematoma generally does not require therapy and will go away on its own in a few weeks. If your baby has cephalohematoma, you should contact your pediatrician.
These are some of the most common health problems that newborn babies experience. As a parent, it is important to be aware of these issues and know how to deal with them. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your pediatrician.
The most important thing is to keep your baby healthy and happy! Thanks for reading.