Newborn babies are delicate little human beings that are susceptible to different kinds of diseases and health problems. Despite the uttermost efforts to protect your little one from potential health risks and other perils of the environment, there are times when your newborn baby can still acquire a certain disease. However, as a parent, you are determined to prevent such risks and provide the best care your newborn baby deserves.
One of the first steps to protect your little one is to identify the common diseases of newborn babies. This will give you a better and wider perspective on what types of diseases or health problems can possibly affect your newborn babies. Identifying the possible causes will also help you find what precautionary measures you should do.
Common Diseases and Health Problems of Newborn Babies
It is not easy to rule out the diseases newborn babies usually suffer from, especially when you are a first-time mom. Most moms rely on firsthand experiences which enable them to prepare preventive measures even before a disease can occur. This can be a tough phase for first-time moms which is why it is significant to determine such health issues and be familiar with the symptoms and effects.
Here are some of the common diseases and health problems of newborn babies that you should be aware of:
1. JAUNDICE. This is a common health problem for newborn babies where the skin becomes yellowish and the whites of the eye are discolored and a little different than usual. Though this also happens to adults, jaundice on babies is usually mild and go away within one to two weeks.
It is a condition when there is too much bilirubin, a yellow substance that is produced by the breakdown of old red blood cells, in a baby’s body. It can also be a result of other infections which should be consulted to your doctor for immediate treatment.
2. DIARRHEA. It is sometimes hard to tell whether your newborn baby has diarrhea or not as babies usually have soft poop. But if your baby defecates a watery poop, it can be a sign of diarrhea. Some may not take it as a serious matter as it typically happens in newborn babies. However, this can result in dehydration which can be potentially risky. Diarrhea can also be a sign of an infection, especially when it is accompanied by vomiting.
Diarrhea can also be caused by poor hygiene. Your baby may have come in contact with something dirty. So, make sure to keep all the baby utensils and other essentials completely clean all the time.
3. CONSTIPATION. Constipation in babies might be a little different than in adults. It does not mean they can’t defecate as often as they should. Constipation on newborn babies could mean they are having difficulties in passing stool which result in bleeding and pain. The poop might also have streaks of blood. The baby might strain or whimper while trying to defecate.
Constipation usually happens in babies who lack breastfeeding. Babies who are breastfed don’t usually have problems with constipation and hence, breastmilk is truly the best for newborn babies. If constipation persists, you should consult your doctor for treatment.
4. DIAPER RASH. As babies wear diapers on a regular basis, they have the tendency to get diaper rash. Babies have sensitive skin and diapers are one of the causes of irritation and skin allergies. This is actually not an alarming health issue but it’s best to take precautionary steps to prevent it from getting worse. You may need to change your baby’s diaper brand or quality. Others opt for cloth diapers and organic diapers to prevent skin irritations.
5. VOMITING. Vomiting is also one of the common health issues in babies. There are times when the baby spits the milk out after breastfeeding. It can also occur when the mother overfeeds the baby. It can be normal but if you notice that your baby keeps on vomiting more frequent than usual, it might be a sign of an underlying problem. It can be caused by infections, allergies, food poisoning, intestinal obstruction, and motion sickness. But to help you rule out what really causes the vomiting in your baby, seek help from your doctor
6. BABY COLIC. Also known as infantile colic, baby colic is a condition where the baby keeps on crying more than usual. It is typically identified when the newborn baby has episodes of crying for over three hours per day. There is actually no known cause for this condition although some may find it normal. Others do find it quite a mystery. For parents, particularly the first-time ones, it can really be alarming, frustrating and depressing.
7. NEONATAL SEPSIS. It is a type of infection that newborn babies usually suffer from where a bacterial bloodstream infection is present. Such health condition can result in pneumonia, meningitis, pyelonephritis, or gastroenteritis. It is a curable disease even when it reaches the severe phase. However, if not treated immediately, it can put your baby at risk at can really be fatal.
8. CYANOSIS. It is when the baby’s skin becomes a bluish due to insufficient supply of oxygen that is being carried through the blood cells. Due to the evident physical condition, babies who have cyanosis are also called “blue babies”. The bluish tone is visible on the baby’s tongue, lips, fingers, toes, and skin.
9. NEONATAL INFECTIONS. Newborn babies who acquired neonatal infections may have to spend longer in the hospital for immediate treatment. As their immune system isn’t fully developed yet, they are vulnerable to many diseases and their natural body defense isn’t strong enough to fight off these diseases and other health problems. Some of the symptoms you may find are difficulties in breathing, irregular changes in temperature, listlessness, skin rash or unusual change in skin color, and hours of crying.
Protect Your Baby: What You Can Do
Prevention is key to better health. You may not have the ability to cure some of these infections and diseases but you can take precautionary steps to prevent some of them from putting your newborn baby’s life at risk. You can apply the following simple, easy, and effective preventive measures.
1. Keep up with a healthy hygiene. Newborn babies are very sensitive and highly susceptible to germs, bacteria, and other viruses. That is why it is essential to keep up with a healthy hygiene. Every time you need to hold, touch, or attend your baby with its needs, you have got to make sure you’re clean. A simple act of washing and sanitizing your hands can make a lot of difference. If your little one is at the right age for its first bath, make sure to choose the best infant and baby bathtubs filled with a right amount of water at the optimal temperature.
When it comes to changing your baby’s diaper, it is a must to change it regularly. Keeping the diapers for a long time may cause diaper rash and other skin allergies and irritations. You should also be very careful of choosing diapers whether they are cloth diapers or disposable.
2. Keep all the toys and utensils clean all the time. Stuffed toys, utensils, toys, and other baby essentials must be clean all the time to prevent diseases caused by germs, bacteria, and viruses. As these newborn babies play with their stuff and other toys, they sometimes put them in their mouth or nibble them.
Use a soapy hot water to clean the feeding bottles and other utensils. Make sure to wash them thoroughly under a running water to get rid of the soap residues. You can use a brush to clean the insides of the bottles and the nipples.
3. Breastfeed your baby. Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of acquiring diseases and infections. A mother’s breast milk contains antibodies and nutrients that can fight off bacteria and viruses. It can also protect your baby from potential health risks and illnesses. Hence, a healthier and stronger immune system for your baby. Studies also show that breastfeeding your baby exclusively for 6 months without any help of formula can lower the risk of ear infections, respiratory diseases, and diarrhea.
4. Visit your doctor regularly. Visiting your doctor regularly is one of the best ways to protect your baby from illnesses and other health risks. Your doctor will assist you what you should eat or avoid and when your newborn baby should take vaccine shots for immunization. As you and your doctor monitor your baby’s health, there is a greater chance you can fight off these diseases and health problems.