Although most young ones are born at full term and with no medical problems, some newborns may have conditions that require prompt attention. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell when the baby is actually sick. Some of these problems don’t exhibit serious symptoms and sometimes it is easy to ignore them until it’s too late. Here are a few examples of common newborn baby medical conditions and how you can identify them early enough.
This condition is caused by an accumulation of a substance called bilirubin in the blood system of the child. It occurs when the immature liver fails to efficiently do its job of clearing bilirubin, which is formed after breakdown of blood cells. The most common symptom of jaundice is a yellowish tinge on the skin. The condition is treatable if identified early enough, but if ignored it can lead to serious brain and nervous system damage.
It is common for babies to turn mildly blue sometimes due to cold or excessive crying. However, should the blue skin color persist; and if it’s accompanied by difficulties breathing, this could be a sign of heart-lung issues. Immediate medical attention should be sought.
Most infants’ bellies stick out especially after eating a large meal. In between meals, however, the stomach should feel soft and flatten. If your kid’s stomach is always sticking out and hard – and if your baby has not had a bowel movement for more than 2 days, it’s time to call your pediatric. In most instances, this happens due to gas or constipation, although it could sometimes pose serious intestinal problems.
Sometimes, it may take the baby several hours after birth to acquire a normal breathing pattern. But then this should improve in a short time. However, if you notice that the baby is having problems breathing in the usual manner, then chances are that there is an underlying condition that needs to be checked. Always be on the lookout for the following warning signs.
*Grunting while breathing
*Blue skin coloring
*Fast breathing exceeding more than 60 breaths per minute
*Sucking of muscles between ribs with each breath –
*Flaring of the nose
Some newborns don’t have enough red blood cells. This often happens when the baby is born without having stored enough fetus iron during the last months of the pregnancy. Also, loss of blood from frequent medical jabs can contribute to anemia. In that case, a pediatrician may advice you to give your newborn some iron supplements and drugs that boost red blood cells. In extreme cases, a blood transfusion may be recommended.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes an overall increase in the number of apnea episodes for the infant. Some symptoms of it include difficulties breathing and low oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Treatment using antibiotics is commonly recommended although in some cases additional oxygen supply may be required until the infection fully clears.
The baby’s heart may not have developed enough at birth and that may leave room for heart defects to develop. One common example if heart defect in babies is Coarctation of the aorta which occurs when the aorta is too narrow to transport blood effectively. Heart valve abnormalities are also commonly reported. Some of these heart conditions can be treated through basic medication but some may necessitate a surgery.
Every infant needs proper diet and good nutrition to grow strong. However, some newborns may have issues sucking breast milk – hence missing out on important nutrients. Such babies can be fed intravenously or through gavage feeding until they are strong enough and capable of feeding voluntarily.
When the infant tries to drink water for the very first time or of milk from the mother’s breasts comes out too strong, he may cough a bit. However, if he coughs persistently and routinely, that may be a cause of concern. The symptom could point to an underlying problem in the digestive tract or the lungs.
Excessive Crying, No Apparent Reason
Some newborns cry for no apparent reason. However, if the cry sounds peculiar e.g. if the baby shrieks as if in pain or if the cry lasts for an unusual duration of time, it could mean there is a serious medical condition that may warrant an immediate visit to a pediatrician.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of common newborn baby medical conditions. However, the ones we have listed above are among the most frequently reported ones. Maintain a close watch on your newborn and in case you spot some weird behavior or symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek a professional medical opinion on the same.