What Will My Newborn Look Like?
Newborns are certainly not all alike. From storkbites to pimples, not every baby arrives looking pink and pretty. Find out what a typical newborn may look like to bring peace of mind during the delivery.
One of the most exciting things about being pregnant is thinking about what your newborn will look like. Will she be long? Tall? Or will he have hair?
But remember, not all newborns arrive looking pink and chubby. Newborns are born with several variations in appearance, from moulding to stork bites and even port wine stains. Knowing what your baby might look like will help to ensure your confidence in his or her health. Your pediatrician or OB/GYN is always available to answer questions you might have about your baby.
When your baby is born, he or she may be purple to dark red in color. Newborn hands and feet can appear bluish for the first day or two due to immature blood circulation. But blue in any other part of the body is not normal and should be seen by a doctor immediately. If your baby is yellow in color, your pediatrician will check him or her for jaundice.
Your baby may be born with an elongated head, called moulding. This is a normal overlap of movable bones during the birth, and should resolve itself in a day or two. This head shape is often referred to as “cone head.”
Vernix is a white substance that is seen on many babies after they are born. The vernix protects the baby from amniotic fluid while he or she is in the womb. It is secreted by the oil glands and is absorbed by the baby’s skin after delivery. After a day or two, the vernix will be reabsorbed by your baby’s skin.
Babies born somewhat early can have lanugo, or a soft hair covering parts of their bodies. This is not usually seen in babies born full or past term. Many premature infants have some form of lanugo.
Does your newborn have white spots on the nose, forehead or chin? This is called milia, and is formed from the baby’s oil glands. If these are in the baby’s mouth, they are called Epstein pearls. These are usually gone within a few days after birth.
Your baby did not really arrive by a stork, but he or she may actually have stork bites or salmon patches. This is a concentration of immature blood vessels, which usually fade completely. Because they are seen on the eyelids, upper lip, between the eyes or on the back of they neck, they are called stork bites – somewhat resembling marks that a stork might have left after picking up a newborn.
Babies can be born with port wine stains. These are birthmarks covered in red, pink or purple, and are known to be flat. This is a concentration of small capillaries, and are more than likely on the head or neck. If your baby has a port wine stain, you will probably be referred to a plastic surgery specialist who can perform laser treatment when your child is older.
Knowing how your baby may appear after birth will give you confidence that he or she is healthy. Your baby will be beautiful, whether he has milia, lanugo or moulding. Most features will fade over the course of a few days – but your baby will certainly be the apple of your eye, no matter what he or she looks like!
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