5 Common Health Problems for Newborn Infants

Being a new mom is riddled with feelings of stress, exhaustion, uncertainty, and guilt. This roller coaster of emotion doesn’t get easier when your baby is sick. One of the scariest and frustrating experiences of new parenthood is expecting to enjoy your new bundle of joy when instead you are in and out of the doctor’s office with chronic issues that commonly plague newborns.

Babies are small, helpless, and can’t communicate their needs, so the responsibility of a parent in the first few months is very great. However, while babies are tiny, they are very resilient. Knowing what some of these common health problems for newborn infants are, familiarizing yourself with the symptoms, and preparing for them makes life a little bit easier when the going gets rough.

Abdominal Distension

Part of what makes babies cute is their tummies. They have naturally round bellies that we just love to blow bubbles on, snuggle, and tickle. However, if a newborn’s belly feels hard or swollen, watch for gas or constipation. It can cause discomfort in a baby who may have trouble passing gas without your help.

You can bicycle their legs to encourage the passing of gas and relieve some tension. If the problem persists, there may be an underlying complication that needs medical attention.

Birth Injuries

Sometimes labor causes injuries in a newborn. Most of the time, babies recover quickly from things like broken collarbones, weak muscles, forceps marks, and other labor-induced problems. However, if you find that these problems persist, seek the help of a medical professional to make sure nothing else is wrong.

Skin Problems

It’s normal for babies to have blue hands and feet. As circulation improves, this condition resolves itself. In some cases, they may also have blue skin around or inside their mouth while crying. This is typically not cause for concern unless it persists past several months of age, at which time it could indicate poor circulation and other serious medical conditions.

Many babies are also jaundice, which is a medical condition in which their skin has a yellow tint because of an underdeveloped liver. This is very common and can be corrected during your first few days at the hospital. In some cases, home health is established to continue treatment at home. If this condition is treated early, it resolves easily with no complications.

A multitude of skin problems plague babies because their skin is so sensitive. Use the skin care products made especially for babies to ensure you treat it delicately enough. Avoid prolonged exposure to water. It’s advisable to bathe your baby every other day or every three days to help their skin retain the moisture it needs.

Other skin problems like diaper rash and cradle cap can be resolved with other the counter creams and shampoos.

Coughing or Vomiting

Coughing is normal in infants, especially at feedings because the milk comes out too fast for their underdeveloped tongues. It takes time for infants to learn to latch and suck properly. There are things you can do to guide your child to the correct sucking position. However, if a cough doesn’t go away, there could be a problem with her lungs or digestion. Seek medical assistance if your baby is coughing excessively. It could be an indication of something more serious like whooping cough.

It’s also normal for babies to spit up after feeds because their tummies are so small. Any pressure on a full tummy could cause spit up or occasional vomiting. However, if the vomiting is projectile or persists, seek the help of a medical professional to rule out medical conditions like reflux or any allergies or sensitivities to milk or formula.

Respiratory Irregularity

Newborns need time to regulate their breathing after birth. It normally takes several hours for them to learn to breathe, after which they should have no trouble. Many issues cause breathing irregularities, so check nasal passages for blockages that cause the majority of breathing problems. You can treat these blockages with saline drops or a bulb syringe.

Check with your pediatrician or seek medical attention immediately if you notice things like rapid breathing, flared nostrils, grunting, or blue skin that won’t go away. Your baby is at higher risk of breathing issues if you had preterm labor at any point in pregnancy, so be aware of this issue if that’s the case.

Many other medical conditions can bother your baby and should not be tolerated in excess. Colds, fevers, ear infections, thrush, diarrhea, and constipation are all very common, but distressing if you don’t know how to treat it or they persist.

Always seek the help of your pediatrician if you have questions and don’t let any problems go untreated if they pose a serious concern. Most pediatricians are happy to keep your baby healthy and help you understand the ailments your baby experiences, even if they are common health problems for newborn infants.

The care of your little one is of the utmost importance, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

Author Bio : This guest post is a work of Peter Young in support of Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, a JCI accredited world class hospital.