COMMON PROBLEMS IN THE NEWBORN
Regurgitation of milk: - Most newborns bring up some amount of milk soon after feeding. THAT IS NORMAL. A baby swallow air while sucking and as air is burped out part of the milk also comes out along with the air. Hence burping the baby by holding upright on the shoulder for 5 to 10 minutes after the feed relieves the gas and regurgitation.
Stools: - During the first two to three days, the baby passes black, tarry stools which are followed by greenish stools for next one or 2 days and then regular semisolid sticky golden-yellow stools. Most babies pass 4 to 8 stools in a day (some babies pass stools after each feed) whereas some babies pass stools once in 2-3 days. THAT IS NORMAL.
If the stools are hard and leads to excessive crying while passing stools, consult your doctor to rule out constipation.
When the baby is being breastfed and is not receiving any other top feeding, it is unlikely to develop diarrhea due to infection. Diarrhea leads to watery, loose stools in greater frequency.
Urine output: - Most newborns pass urine within 48 hours of birth. If the baby has not passed urine within 48 hours, a kidney problem should be ruled out. A normal baby passes about 5-10 times urine per day. Babies usually cry on passing urine due to wet nappies. If the urine stream in narrow, or there is excessive straining on passing urine or there is dribbling at the end, consult your doctor to rule out a bladder or kidney problem.
Jaundice: - About 60 to 70 percent of newborn babies develop jaundice on 2nd or 3rd day of life which disappears within 7-10 days. This is a normal physiological process and is known as PHYSIOLOGICAL JAUNDICE and no treatment is required. If the jaundice starts within first 24 hours of life or is very deep or it persists beyond 2 weeks of life, then consult your doctor to rule out other causes of neonatal jaundice.
Fever: - During the summer months, some babies may develop transitory fever during the second or third day of life. The child is however active and keen to feed. This is known as Dehydration fever and is a transient condition and due to excessive environment temperature. Ensuring proper feeds and hydration leads to disappearance of the fever.
Excessive crying in newborns: - Most babies cry when they are either hungry or having discomfort such as wet nappies or soiled stools. Sometimes insect bites, nose block and some trivial trauma may be reasons for cry. An infant with colic may have gaseous distension of abdomen and usually feels comfortable when placed on his tummy which facilitates expulsion of gas.
Presence of inconsolable crying or a high-pitched cry may suggest infection, and should be referred to the doctor immediately.
Sleep variation: - During first few days of life, most babies keep their eyes closed and go to sleep after taking only a few sucks at the breast. Also most newborns sleep during the day and are awake and playful during the night. This is probably because in the motherís womb, during the daytime, the baby is rocked in the amniotic water and sleeps and when the mother is resting at night, the baby is active and playful. Babies tend to fall into a set sleep pattern in 4-6 weeks.
Last created on 1-7-2006
Last updated on 18-11-2006