Cordlife organised a Pregnancy, Labour and Me seminar in Gleneagles on the 25th of May. Our paediatrician, Dr Mas Suhaila was invited to be one of the speakers. She shared tips on newborn care to over 100 parents-to-be.
She touched on many different newborn issues parents often face and how to handle them. Some of these include feeding, crying (and colic), rashes, nasal congestion, vaccinations and development milestones just to name a few. Here are the key points she talked about during her session:
Babies can develop jaundice after the third or fourth day of birth. The baby’s skin and eyes usually turn yellow. Most babies get jaundice and mild jaundice is generally not a huge cause for concern. Dr Mas advises parents to observe their baby’s skin to check if their skin and eyes are returning to their usual colour. If the yellow colour is becoming more obvious, the baby has a fever or is not eating and drinking well, then it is time to visit a paediatrician.
Spit-ups and Vomit
Spit-ups can happen up till your baby is a year old. Usually, it is not a major cause for concern. Babies spits-up because their digestive systems are still developing or sometimes due to overfeeding. Babies may vomit sometimes too, but if it happens after every feed, you should see your paediatrician as soon as possible. It is considered vomiting and not spit-ups if the quantity is much larger and your baby shows some discomfort.
Another common infection observed in newborns is oral thrush. This is a yeast infection and it causes white patches to form on the baby’s tongue and inner cheeks. According to Dr Mas, this is not a severe condition but if you notice any changes in your baby’s behaviour and feeding then you should visit a paediatrician.
The umbilical stump attached to your baby’s belly button usually dries up and falls off about 1-2 weeks after birth. Parents should keep the umbilical region dry and clean as much as possible.
If you see any signs of infection like pus that smells bad, red skin or your baby cries if you touch the umbilical region then you should definitely pay your paediatrician a visit.
A red bump and a small amount of fluid oozing out in the umbilical region is normal after the stump falls off. This lasts for up to 2 weeks. If it does not heal completely after 2 weeks, you should visit your paediatrician.
You might notice some eye discharge in your newborn baby. This usually happens if his/her tear ducts are blocked. You can help alleviate this by wiping your baby’s eyes with a clean, damp cloth. Dr Mas suggests that you can also gently massage the corners of your baby’s eyes to potentially unblock the tear ducts. However, if you notice the discharge increasing and is accompanied with eye redness or swelling, then it is best to visit the paediatrician.