Thursday, October 25, 2012

Appearance of newborn - baby fontanelle, head bruises and common birthmarks

Normal newborn appearance: You will probably spend the first few days looking at your baby. You will notice every detail – the color and texture of their hair, the shape of their hands and feet, and the different expressions on their face. If you notice anything that worries you, however small, ask your midwife. Your baby will be examined by a midwife, pediatrician or neonatal nurse practitioner to make sure everything is all right.
The newborn fontanelle    
On the top of your baby’s head, near the front, is a diamond-shaped patch where the skull bones have not yet fused together. This is called the fontanelle. It will probably be a year or more before the bones close over. You may notice the fontanelle moving as your baby breathes. Don’t worry about touching it or washing the area. There is a tough layer of membrane under the skin.
Newborn head bruises   
It is quite common for a newborn baby to have some swelling and bruises on its head, and perhaps to have bloodshot eyes. This is just the result of the squeezing and pushing that is part of being born and will soon disappear.
Common newborn birthmarks   
Once you begin to look closely at your baby, you will probably find lots of little marks and spots, mainly on their head and face. Some babies have larger marks. Most of them will go away eventually. Ask the doctor who examines your baby if they will disappear completely.
Most common are the little pink or red marks some people call ‘stork marks’. These V-shaped marks on the forehead and upper eyelids gradually fade, though it may be some months before they disappear altogether. Marks on the nape of the neck can stay for much longer, but they will be covered by hair.
Strawberry marks are also quite common. They are dark red and slightly raised. They sometimes appear a few days after birth and gradually get bigger. They may take a while to go away.
Spots and rashes are very common in newborn babies and may come and go. You should tell your doctor or midwife immediately if you also notice a change in your baby’s behavior, for example if your baby is not feeding properly or is very sleepy or very irritable.

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