By the time your baby is born, you’ll have spent nearly 10 months dreaming of him or her. Now that your little one is finally earth-side, you may be surprised to find he or she is far from what you imagined. When you stop and think about it, being born sounds a bit traumatic, what with being pushed down a birth canal and out into a bright and noisy world. Your baby’s been through a lot. Here’s how that journey might affect your new bundle of joy:
If you’re planning a vaginal delivery, chances are your baby will have a pointed, maybe even bruised head. At birth, your little one’s head is comprised of soft bones to make traveling through the birth canal all the easier. As he or she descends, the skull may elongate and flatten, giving your baby’s head a somewhat cone-shaped appearance. Rest assured, this is perfectly normal and should even out within a matter of days.
Coated and feathery
When babies emerge from the womb, they’re coated in a waxy, protective substance called vernix. While in utero, babies develop vernix to keep their skin safe from the constant exposure to water. Your hospital may clean this substance from baby before returning him or her to you. You may also notice that your little one is sporting a very fine, downy fur. This feathery hair covers your baby’s entire body, but will fall out within the first month or two.
It may be alarming to find that your baby’s extremities appear blue when first born. A newborn’s hands and feet may even stay slightly blue for the first few days. As long as your little one’s face and core appear normal, there’s nothing to worry about.
Pregnancy hormones don’t end when labor begins. It’s perfectly normal for your son or daughter to have slightly swollen breasts in response to your hormones. You may even find that your baby’s nipples produce discharge. Don’t be alarmed, as both symptoms should abate within several days.
Again, blame it on pregnancy hormones. If you find blood in your baby girl’s diaper, it’s likely a normal response to the hormones she was exposed to while in utero. If the amount of blood seems alarming, or if your baby isn’t wetting her diapers, get in touch with her pediatrician right away, as this may be a sign of a bladder issue.
If your son or daughter is born with dry, rough or ruddy skin, there’s likely nothing amiss. Your newborn has just spent nearly 10 months in a watery cocoon and exposure to air can play havoc on him or her. You may even notice tiny white bumps known as milia, that looks like a case of baby acne. If you have any concerns about your child’s skin condition, pick up the phone and call his or her pediatrician.