Congratulations on the arrival of your precious baby! As new parents, it is inevitable to feel uncertain and jittery even when the paediatrician or neonatal don’t highlight any medical issues. There are many things during the first few days of baby that might definitely surprise and even worry you. But fret not; we’ve gotten insights from Dr Lim Kai Hung, Family Physician at LifeScan Medical Centre on the common ‘newborn situations’ parents deal with.
“My baby has an alien-shaped head after suction cup!”
What you think it is: The doctor applied too much force.
What it really is: This is the result of birth trauma due to the use of the suction cup for vacuum assisted delivery. However, be rest assured that the hematoma (bruise) developed due to the trauma will resolve in one to two weeks.
“Why is my baby not making eye contact?”
What you think it is: Babies can’t see.
What it really is: A newborn can detect light and motion, and make our faces and large shapes. By the end of the first month, the vision improves dramatically enabling your little one to make eye contact and focus on objects about 12 inches away.
“My baby didn’t cry at birth”
What you think it is: I have a stubborn baby.
What it really is: Not all newborns cry at birth and gentle stimulation is usually required together with clearing of all secretions in the nose and mouth to aid in the first breathing efforts.
“Help! My baby doesn’t have smooth skin”
What you think it is: We didn’t bathe our baby in beer.
What it really is: It is common for newborns to develop inflammation-like bumps, rashes and even skin peeling in the first few days and weeks of their lives. Adequate moisturising would usually solve the problem.
“Why is my baby so hairy?”
What you think it is: It is the result of eating Shanghainese “hairy crabs”.
What it really is: Known as the laguno, the newborn body hair is sometimes present on the back and shoulders. While this usually sheds before birth, some babies may need a few weeks before it disappears
“Gosh! Why is baby so wrinkled?”
What you think it is: The baby has been soaking in amniotic fluid for nine months.
What it really is: In the womb, babies are covered in a white substance called vernix that protects the skin until birth. Once born, the skin may dry up, crack and flake off in thin patches around the wrists and ankles, thus making it it look wrinkled.
And there you have it, the common newborn situations answered. Share this with your mummy friends so that they too can have a peace of mind.