Newborn appearance


Those cute little bundles of joy can vary greatly in apperance; from wrinkles to birthmarks to pointy heads. Alas, have no fear! Below, is a list of various normal ways that baby might look like.

• Vernix: 

A white, thick coating that forms from baby's oil glands to protect their delicate skin while growing in the womb. Vernix is full of immune properties, and helps with thermoregulation, so consider  delaying the first bath a couple of days and instead  massage this natural moisturizer into their skin . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15592296

• Colouring: 

It might be alarming to see baby turn from a purplish to a dark red, but as baby begins to fill its lungs with air their colour will normalize. You will notice that the hands and feet may stay blue for a few days, as the rest of the body is pink; this is because their circulation is focusing on keeping the vital organs (core) nice and warm. You might notice a slight yellow tinge to the skin or the whites of their eyes; this is called jaundice. Their liver is working hard on removing the extra bilirubin (a normal breakdown of blood cells) as it passes through the stool. The Doctor or Midwife will monitor this to ensure that baby is processing it efficiently. it appears 1-2 days after birth and usually disappears by week 2.

• Molding: 

Baby may appear to have a bit of a pointy head! All normal! The skull bones gently overlap to form  this shape as it passes through the birth canal. The head will begin to return to a rounder shape just a few days after birth.

• Milia: 

Milia are small white bumps that appear on the nose, chin and forehead. These are oil glands. When they form in the mouth and gums, these are call Epstein pearls.

• Stork bites: AKA Salmon patches.

Stork bites are caused by cluster of immature blood vessels, which usually fade or  disappear by age 2. These red patches are sometimes pink, found on the forehead, eyelids, back of the neck, top of the lip. They are most visible when baby is crying.

• Mongolian Spots: 

Dark blue to purple in colour, they can look scary as they can be mistaken for bruising. Found usually on lower back to buttocks region, and are more commonly found  in African-American and  Asian babies, but can be found in dark-skinned babies of all races. They are a concentration of pigmented skin cells. Within the first four years of life, they are a distant memory.

• Lanugo: 

Baby's shoulders, back and forehead might be sporting some extra hair! Meaning" wool" in Latin, Lanugo is there to anchor the vernix to the skin. This soft hair eventually goes away within the few weeks.

• Port Wine Stains: 

These flat, red, pink or purple birthmarks. They do not go away. This is due to a high concentration of capillaries( tiny blood vessels) Usually found on the neck or head, they may be large or small and do not change colour or disappear. Port wine stains can grow and become darker, and bleed if the blood vessels break.

 • Newborn breast swelling: 

AKA "Witches milk" This can occur in both boys and girls around the third day of life. The breasts may simply swell or leak the milky substance. This is due to mothers hormones, and dissipates within a few weeks. Avoid massaging the breasts, as this can injure the tissue and cause infection.

 Swollen genitals: 

Depending on the number of weeks that the baby was born (gestational age) premature girls have a prominent inner labia and clitoris, whereas a full-term girl has a larger outer labia.
Girls can have a small amount of white discharge or blood from the vagina in the early weeks of life. Don't panic, like I did; this is a normal response to mother's hormones. The appearance of a premature boy's scrotum may be smooth, flat and testicles may be undescended. Full-term boys will have descended testicles and ridges in the scrotum.