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What are the common health issues in new borns?
Common health issues in newborns can vary, and it’s important to note that many newborns are generally healthy. However, some common health concerns may include:
Jaundice is a medical condition characterized by the yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes. It occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin is processed by the liver and then excreted in bile, but if there is an issue with the liver’s function or if red blood cells are breaking down too rapidly, bilirubin can accumulate in the body.
Treatment for jaundice in newborns may involve phototherapy, where the baby is exposed to a specific type of light that helps break down bilirubin. In severe cases, exchange transfusion may be necessary to replace the baby’s blood with fresh donor blood.
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS):
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a condition that primarily affects premature infants, especially those born before 28 weeks of gestation. It is also known as Hyaline Membrane Disease. RDS occurs when the lungs of a premature baby are not fully developed, leading to difficulties in breathing and inadequate oxygen exchange.
The primary treatment for RDS is supportive care. In many cases, premature infants are given surfactant replacement therapy to help improve lung function. Mechanical ventilation and respiratory support with a ventilator may also be necessary.
Newborns can be susceptible to infections, including respiratory infections or infections in the umbilical cord or skin.
Preventing infections in babies involves practicing good hygiene, ensuring proper vaccination, and taking measures to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious agents. Prompt medical attention is crucial if a baby shows signs of infection, as early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve outcomes.
- Low Birth Weight:
Some newborns may have a low birth weight, which can be associated with prematurity or growth restriction during pregnancy.
Low birth weight (LBW) is a term used to describe infants who are born weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces), regardless of their gestational age. LBW is a significant concern in neonatal health, and it can be influenced by various factors.
It’s essential for pregnant individuals to receive regular prenatal care, follow health guidelines, and address any risk factors to promote the healthy development of the fetus and reduce the risk of low birth weight.
- Bloated belly:
A slightly bloated or rounded belly is a common and normal aspect of an infant’s appearance, often related to the feeding and digestion process.
Swallowing air during feeding can contribute to temporary bloating, and burping the baby helps release swallowed air. Gas in the digestive system, resulting from the digestion of breast milk or formula, is generally not a cause for concern and can also contribute to a bloated appearance.
Infrequent or difficult bowel movements, constipation, may lead to bloating, while conditions like colic or food sensitivities/allergies can be associated with a gassy or bloated appearance.
- Noisy breathing:
Noisy breathing in babies is often normal and can be due to factors such as nasal congestion, developmental changes in airway anatomy, or milk residue in the throat. Babies primarily breathe through their noses, and some noises are common during sleep.
While most instances are benign, persistent or severe breathing difficulties warrant evaluation by a healthcare professional, and parents should seek guidance if concerned about their baby’s well-being.
- Birth Injuries:
Birth injuries can arise from factors like prolonged labor or medical conditions, but with advances in healthcare, preventive measures, early interventions, emotional support, and legal recourse, parents can approach childbirth with informed confidence and focus on positive outcomes.
- Cradle cap:
Cradle cap, or infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is a common and usually harmless condition in infants, presenting as yellow, greasy scales on the scalp. Aside from scalp involvement, cradle cap rarely causes discomfort or itching for the baby. It typically does not spread beyond the scalp.
Mild cases may resolve on their own, but gentle measures like frequent washing with a mild baby shampoo and using a soft brush to loosen scales can help. For persistent cases, healthcare providers may recommend specific shampoos or ointments. Harsh soaps or vigorous scrubbing should be avoided, as they can worsen the condition or cause skin irritation.
Infantile colic is a common condition marked by prolonged and inconsolable crying in babies, infants may clench their fists, arch their backs, pull up their legs, have a flushed face, typically peaking around six weeks and gradually resolving by the third or fourth month, posing challenges for parents and necessitating supportive measures and medical consultation.
Parents often use various soothing techniques, including holding, rocking, or using pacifiers, to comfort colicky infants. In most cases, infantile colic gradually resolves as the baby’s digestive system matures, and the episodes of excessive crying diminish.
- Feeding Difficulties:
Feeding difficulties in infants encompass challenges such as oral aversions, latching issues, reflux, sensory sensitivities, and medical conditions, requiring tailored interventions and consultation with healthcare professionals to ensure healthy feeding habits and development.
It’s crucial for parents to maintain regular check-ups with healthcare providers, follow recommended vaccination schedules, and seek medical attention if they observe any unusual symptoms or behaviors in their newborns. Early detection and intervention can contribute to positive outcomes for newborn health.
At Nizamiye Hospital in Abuja, patients from various cities and beyond, including individuals from outside Nigeria, seek specialized treatment for a range of health issues. Our dedicated team of medical professionals, specialized departments, and supportive staff ensures successful, cost-effective, and efficient management of various healthcare concerns.
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