Characteristics of by MikeJenny


									Characteristics of Newborns
Wonder what your newborn will look like? Keep
 in mind that the last few weeks of pregnancy
  and the rigors of childbirth often take a toll.
 Here's a peek at some real newborns so that
          you'll know what to expect.
                        Newborn’s Head

During childbirth, pressure from the tight birth canal may cause your baby's skull bones to shift and
overlap. This may result in an elongated or cone-shaped skull at birth — particularly if you had a long
labor or a vacuum extractor was used during delivery. You can expect your newborn to have a more
rounded head within a few days.
Babies born buttocks or feet first or by C-section are more likely to have round heads at birth.
                        Facial Features

Pressure on the face during delivery may leave your newborn's eyelids puffy or
swollen. Sometimes small blood vessels in the eyes break during birth, which may
cause red spots on the whites of your newborn's eyes. And life in a crowded uterus
may leave your newborn with a nose that's flattened or pushed to the side or ears
that seem folded over. Don't worry. These issues are usually temporary.
                          Umbilical Cord

The stump of a newborn's umbilical cord is usually yellowish green at birth. If the
stump is treated with iodine, it may look blue as in the photo. As the stump dries out
and eventually falls off — usually within two weeks after birth — it'll change from
yellowish green to brown to black. In the meantime, keep the stump clean and dry.
Expose the stump to air to help dry out the base, and stick to sponge baths while the
area is healing. There's no need to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol

You may notice white spots on your newborn's face that look like tiny pimples. These
harmless spots are known as milia. Later, your newborn may develop small red
bumps on his or her face. This is sometimes known as newborn acne. Milia typically
disappear within a few weeks. Newborn acne may stick around for several months.

The top layer of a newborn's skin flakes off shortly after birth. You may notice plenty
of dry, peeling skin for the first few weeks.

Many newborns have birthmarks. You may notice reddish or pink patches above the
hairline at the back of the neck, on the eyelids or between your newborn's eyes.
These marks — sometimes nicknamed stork bites or angel kisses — are caused by
collections of blood vessels close to the skin. Marks between the eyes usually fade
with time. Marks on the nape of the neck usually remain, although they may
become less noticeable as your baby gets older.
Darker skinned babies are sometimes born with a large, flat, bluish-gray mark on the
buttocks or lower back — commonly called a slate gray nevus, but more specifically
known as dermal melanosis. This type of mark typically fades during early childhood.
                         Legs and Feet

A newborn's legs and feet often look bowed or bent, thanks to the cramped
quarters of the womb. As long as your newborn's legs and feet are flexible and can
easily be moved about, there's no need for concern. The curves typically
straighten on their own as the baby becomes more mobile.

Some newborns are covered by fine, downy hair at birth — known as lanugo —
especially on the back, shoulders, forehead and temples. Tiny hairs may also appear
on your newborn's ears or in other spots. Lanugo is most common in premature
babies. It typically wears off from normal friction within several weeks
               Breasts and Genitalia

Before birth, the mother's hormones pass through the baby's system. This may lead to
swollen breasts at birth — for both boys and girls.
Newborn girls may have a swollen vulva and light vaginal discharge as well. The
swelling typically disappears within two to four weeks. Normal vaginal discharge may
last only several days.
For some newborn boys, fluid is squeezed into the scrotum during birth. This swelling,
known as a hydrocele, usually disappears within a few months. Frequent erections are
common, too.
                              Soft Spots

You'll notice two soft areas at the top of your baby's head where the skull bones
haven't yet grown together. These spots, called fontanels, are designed to allow a
baby's relatively large head to move down the narrow birth canal. They also
accommodate a baby's rapidly growing brain. You may notice slight bulging from
these spots when your baby cries or strains.
Soft spots are covered by a thick fibrous layer. They're safe to touch and typically
close within 12 to 18 months, when the skull bones fuse together.

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