Parenting newborn

  • By Dr. Shalini Kapoor

Babies come with a boxful of of surprises; but always confirm if the surprising factors are beyond your comprehension.

If you are going to be a parent for the first time and do not have an elderly person to guide you at home, then you surely should prepare yourself in advance regarding the basics of brining up a newborn. Babies mostly arrive healthy, but they may not look like the way you wanted or they can have yellowish skin or a brain with curious shape, blemishes and so on. In case these oddities do not disappear after some time, you need to consult a caregiver. Here are a few things that you must know so that you can take proper action when needed.

Identifying physiological jaundice

Usually babies develop a yellowish skin after they are born. There is no need to panic as it indicates that your baby is having physiological jaundice that is common among newborns. The pigmentation is caused due to the presence of bilirubin that is formed as waste product when the red blood cells break down. It is the function of the liver to process bilirubin and excrete it. But since in the newborn babies the liver is not fully matured, this waste product can accumulate in his body and give his skin yellowish tinge.

Once the liver adjusts and gets into proper working, the yellow hue will go away. You can increase the frequency of feeding your baby if you want to flush out the bilirubin from your baby’s body. But if the yellowish tinge does not go away even after three weeks, you should consult a caregiver who might advise you Phototherapy that breaks down the excretion matter and helps your body to eliminate it. Also you need to seek the consultation of a caregiver if the yellowish tinge does not go away even after three weeks.

Breast buds in infants

Some changes are indeed surprising. Some newborn babies seem to develop their breasts or genitals. This swelling on the nipples, vagina is mostly because of the hormones that automatically are passed on to your infant during pregnancy. These maternal hormones begin to find a way to come out after your baby’s umbilical cord is cut. This condition does not persist beyond one month and there is nothing to worry about it.

Acne in infants

Although acne mostly affects you after reaching the teenage, you can find few of them on your baby if you have passed on androgen to him during pregnancy. This clogs his immature oil glands and leads to acne. These hormones will be eliminated from his body within few days and your baby will have a clearer skin. One precaution though; if the acne are accompanied by the symptoms of gastrointestinal disease then it can be an indication of an allergy.


Flat pink marks or salmon patches are present in more than one-third babies. These are actually the dilated capillaries found in infants. Around 90 % of Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Native Americans are known to have bruise-like or flat patches that consist of dense cluster of skin cells. Some babies also have strawberry hemangiomas that look like red marks and port-wine stains that are the large purple-colored patches. All these birthmarks fade over a period except the port-wine stains. If these stains are near the forehead or eyelid, it can be an indication of neurological or eye problems.