Premature Baby Complications – What To Expect As A Parent?

Everyone is scared of premature baby complications. But let’s first understand the basics. A baby is premature if he or she is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Depending on what range of time during which the baby has been delivered or has been extracted through a C-section for additional reasons may put the baby in one of the following categories:

These final weeks in the womb that a child may miss out on are very important for a baby’s full and healthy growth. This may be one of the reasons why premature babies deal with complications, such as health hazards and weak survival chances far more often than a regular baby.

Premature baby complications may be of various natures depending on the baby itself. Some issues may seem very obvious and understandable while others may go out on a limb to slim the baby’s chances of survival. Similarly, some complications in premature babies are short-term while others may last for a long time, leaving the baby with some sort of challenges to carry for the rest of their lives.

It goes without saying that you must handle premature babies with the utmost care and attention. Short-term complications in a premature baby might sound like its less serious than long-term complications but that wouldn’t be an accurate assumption. Short-term complications can be something as deathly as hemorrhage in the brain or lungs. Let’s go through some of the most common short-term and long-term complications in a premature baby.

 

Short-term Premature baby complications

The problems that a baby may face are mostly only due to the fact that the baby had an early coming into the world unless it’s a special case where the baby is born with a particular health issue that might be inherited from the parents or developed otherwise. So in a nutshell, short-term complications in a premature baby are simply a shortage of time spent in the womb which results in the baby needing to be looked after critically till it fully grows all its vital organs.

Some of these premature baby complications are

  • Breathing troubles
  • Low body weight and fat
  • Less active than normal
  • Fluctuating body temperatures
  • Pale completion
  • Movement and coordination problems
  • Inability to feed
  • Weak immunity
  • Anemia

 

Some life-threatening premature baby complications may be as follows

  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • Week immunity (may lead to several life-threatening infections for the baby)
  • Heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus)
  • Hypoglycemia (exceptionally low blood sugar)
  • Neonatal sepsis (infection in the blood)
  • Pneumonia (inflammation and infection or lungs)
  • Anemia
  • Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (underdeveloped lungs)

Long-term Premature baby complications

Long-term complications are issues that a baby might have to deal with their entire lives.

 These complications mostly occur in extremely preterm babies

  • Chronic health issues (e.g. SIDS, feeding issues & asthma)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disability
  • Blindness or impaired vision
  • Slow & delayed coordination and growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Dental problems

 

Treating a premature baby with complications

One of the most important decisions that a mother who has a premature baby has to make is to go to a hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), also known as an Intensive Care Nursery Unit (ICNU). This is so because a premature baby with or without complications will require excessive care and examination as soon as he/she comes out of the mother’s womb.

As soon as a premature baby comes into the world he/she will be tested. These tests will include things like

  • Chest X-rays (in order to determine the development of the heart and lungs)
  • Blood tests (to find out glucose, calcium and bilirubin levels)
  • Blood gas analysis (to determine blood and oxygen levels)
  • Ultrasound scans (e.g. Echocardiogram: ultrasound of the heart)
  • Eye exam

The baby might need other tests depending on each individual case. When dealing with a premature baby the doctors prefer to keep a mindset that they are dealing with a high-risk baby, as it is the case for many babies hence the doctors do a thorough check up on these babies which may involve a number of more tests aside from the ones mentioned above.

After birth, this premature baby who is likely to have complications is admitted to NICU. Here the baby is treated according to his/her conditions. Support for the baby is provided so that it may be able to continue developing into a healthy independent child one day.

 A few measures taken include:

  • Due to the babies fluctuating body temperatures it is placed in a thermally controlled incubator.
  • Baby’s vital organs are supported in their growth and development.
  • Premature babies with complications especially are constantly monitored. Their heartbeats, breathing and blood & oxygen levels are under strict check so that even the smallest difference can be noted.
  • If a premature baby hasn’t yet developed enough to be able to suck or swallow then they are fed intravenously or by a tube that reaches their stomach.
  • In case the baby’s lungs are too underdeveloped for the baby to be able to breathe then the premature baby might be put on a ventilator or they can be provided with continuous airway pressure.
  • Fluids are replenished
  • The babies are made to spend time under a bilirubin light
  • Premature babies with complications are often given blood transfusions in order to make up for the blood drawn from them for tests.

Besides these methods, the doctors might give other treatments to the baby according to their conditions. Especially, the doctors might administer medications to those premature babies with complications to fix their selective issues and, in severe cases, they may also undergo surgery of relevant kind if needed.

 

When is a premature baby with complications deemed fit to leave the hospital?

Some common signs that a premature baby may be fit to go home now are:

  • The baby is free of all and any infections
  • When the baby can feed by itself (i.e. suck and swallow the milk)
  • When the baby can breathe without support
  • Once they are able to maintain normal body temperature and weight
  • After they start gaining weight steadily

 

Causes and Preventive methods

Honestly speaking, there are no clear cut ways you can adopt to avoid a premature baby. This might be due to the fact that there are no clear reasons as to why premature babies are born in the first place. Some statistics suggest that women of color have the most premature babies worldwide, but there is no clear reason to support these statistics. Some reasons that the doctors predict might aggravate your chances of having a premature baby can be the following:

  • Poor diet
  • Use of intoxicants and drugs during pregnancy
  • Infections in the mother such as UTI
  • A previous history of premature births
  • Previous history of miscarriage or abortion
  • Abnormal uterus
  • Weak cervix
  • If the pregnancy is of twins, triplets or more
  • Conceiving through in-vitro fertilization
  • If the mother has diabetes, high blood pressure, or any heart & kidney disease.
  • Physical injury or trauma
  • Stressful life events such as death or a loved one or domestic violence.

 

As we don’t know why premature births occur, doctors are not able to suggest more than heathy habits during and before pregnancy in hopes of avoiding a premature birth.

These suggestions are as following:

  • Eat healthy before and during pregnancy
  • Drink ample water daily
  • Taking aspirin daily if you have high blood pressure or history of premature births
  • Quit intoxicants and drugs
  • Quit abusing any medically advised drugs
  • Cervical cerclage (after a physician’s advice)
  • Progesterone supplements

While you take these precautions make sure you are going to the doctor for check-ups. Discuss all and any concerns you may have with them and ask to get the appropriate tests and examinations done.

 

 

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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Shingles Around Babies – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Much similar to chickenpox, shingles is a viral infection that can be a cause of great distress. Before we delve into the subject of shingles around babies, let us explain what exactly the condition is.

Shingles, also termed as herpes and herpes zoster is caused by the virus known as the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This same virus is also responsible for giving you chickenpox. Shingles is described as the reactivation of the VZV that lays dormant in your nervous system after your chickenpox heals. A person is usually at risk of suffering from shingles only once in their lifetime.

A person can only get shingles if they have had chickenpox before. This resurfacing of the VZV in the form of shingles is attributed to a weak immune system. Thus, older people, specifically those above the age of 50 are more prone to it. However, shingles around babies is also a rare but possible occurrence.

Like any other disease, shingles too has a unique set of signs, symptoms, causes, and treatments. Let’s explore said signs and symptoms;

Also Read: Pink Noise for Babies: an Effective Sleep Inducer?  

Some Common Signs & Symptoms of Shingles

How to tell if your infant has shingles? The following are the physical signs and symptoms could help you identify a case of shingles around babies:

Minor symptoms

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Signs of tiredness
  • Changed behavior and less energy
  • Headaches

Major symptoms

  • Burning and itching of the skin
  • The appearance of rashes or red blotches
  • The appearance of fluid-like blisters
  • Irritation and tingling sensations

Unlike chickenpox, shingles typically affects a certain part of the skin rather than the entirety of it – usually in the form of a belt on the torso. Aside from the torso, blisters can also surround the eyes. This can be extremely hazardous if left untreated and could cause permanent eye damage.

If any of the symptoms listed above appear, a doctor must be contacted within the next 24 hours.

Also Read: 12 Months Sleep Regression | A Survival Guide For Parents

Causes of Shingles

Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, as mentioned before. However, as opposed to chickenpox, it cannot be contracted by someone who has shingles. If there is shingles around babies, it has been caused by the virus that was already inside them, even if they came into contact with someone who had shingles. Shingles, therefore, is a non-contractible and non-transmittable disease.

Though, a person suffering from shingles can give chickenpox to someone who has never had them in the past.

Older people are most vulnerable to the condition because of their frail immune systems. This condition can similarly affect anyone with a risked immune system, such as those suffering from conditions like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or certain cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. People on medications that debilitate their immunity are also an easy target for the condition.

Also Read: A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Teething Babies and Infants

Treatment & Prevention

Once your infant gets shingles, you can do nothing but wait for it to heal on its own. The healing process can take from 2 weeks to about a month.

There are, however, ways to prevent shingles around babies from developing in the first place. The vaccine for shingles was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2006 and has been used to reduce the chances of getting the disease ever since. However, the vaccine is exclusively recommended for people over 60 years of age.

A chickenpox vaccine lowers your baby’s chances of contracting the disease and therefore shingles too. Having your child vaccinated against chickenpox will undoubtedly defend them against a shingles outbreak, too.

If shingles around babies has already fully developed, there are steps that you can take to prevent its further spread.

Also Read: Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

You need to keep the blisters of your child covered so that the oozing fluid does not come in contact with potential chickenpox contractors. Furthermore, you need to wash your baby’s hands to ensure cleanliness. In addition to this, you should try to keep your baby’s hands away from the blisters so that they do not scratch them too aggressively. You can use other, softer materials to scratch the blisters for them, such as a neem tree branch.

As far as the treatment is concerned, when you consult a doctor and they diagnose the condition as shingles, they are likely to prescribe the following medications:

  • zovirax (acyclovir),
  • valtrex (valacyclovir),
  • famvir (famciclovir).

The antiviral medications above are never to be taken without a prescription. You also need to confirm with your doctor about their safety for your baby.

Also Read: White Spots On Toddler’s Teeth – What Causes Them & How To Prevent?

Health Complications Associated with Shingles

If neglected, shingles can lead to some grave health complications for your baby. It can progress and evolve into more severe and painful diseases such as postherpetic neuralgia (PNH). Shingles rarely, but nonetheless can cause these complications:

  • pneumonia
  • brain inflammation
  • hearing issues

In extreme cases, shingles can result in death.

Although aged patients of shingles are more apt to become the victims of these complications, they can also occur in young ones. Thereby, apt and urgent care is absolutely imperative.

Also Read: Stork Bites in Newborn – Do These Birthmarks Stay Forever?

How to tackle health complications associated with shingles around babies?

If your baby is to suffer from any complications during or after the healing of shingles, they would require treatment for it too.

Treatment of PNH especially tends to be lengthy and can take several years, and can even be lifelong.

Consulting a doctor holds great significance as the treatment of such issues can never be taken upon oneself.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

The Outlook

Perhaps the excruciating pain involved is the single most gruesome aspect of shingles. The damaged nerves under your skin can puzzle your brain into causing pain. This combined with the prolonged period of curing can make this time a hellish one for your little one.

The good news is, though, those younger patients completely recover from the disease and almost never show any further signs of the disease.

Take the necessary steps to take away a little from the distress your kid may face during this time.

We wish your infant a speedy recovery!

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

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Broken Skin Diaper Rash In Babies – Causes and Remedies

Wait. What? I am going to the bed after the so hectic and tiring day and this is what I am getting? – a broken skin diaper rash and crying spells of my baby.

I never thought why my baby is restless at nights, and more often all day long. Moreover, he is distressed and uncomfortable most of the time. Is he feeling hungry or his stomach is bloated? He’s tired. He wants cuddles, but I am so much into my chores. What should I do? Above all, he is irritable despite all my efforts and time. Why my baby is getting bad-tempered? These are the words every new mom or, the older habitual one can say too.

Also Read: My Newborn Won’t Sleep Unless Held – Should I Be Worried?

Maybe he has pooped. I should change his nappy. Oh! A broken skin diaper rash? I got it. Now I feel, being a good mom is being this crazy all the time.

Also Read: My Baby Makes Weird Noises While Sleeping – Is It Normal?

WHAT IS A BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH?

You get to change the nappy and what you find? Red and spotty patches on baby’s bottom? The bottom looks like a warm, red, inflamed, sore, hot-to-touch area. Besides, you see blisters. This all is nothing, but a broken skin diaper rash.

To sum up, broken skin diaper rash occurs in 1 out of every 3 babies worldwide, more often at 9 to 12 months of age. These are red areas in baby’s bottom, labia in girls, or scrotum in boys. Moreover, they can surround the lower belly or inner thigh area as well.

Also Read: My Newborn Sneezes A Lot – What Should I Do?

HOW DOES A BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH FORM? | A WORRIED MOMMY ASKS

Well, you can cause a little contribution to this nasty diaper rash. You didn’t change the diaper for a longer time. So, the bacteria get a treat on the poop. It converts some products in stool into ammonia. Ammonia is the culprit in irritating the skin around the nappy area. Likewise, the dampness in the diaper provides an environment for the bacterial infection process.

Secondly, Candida (a fungal infection) thrives on inflamed skin, and rash becomes infected with bacteria again.

Thirdly and most importantly, when you pack your baby with the too-tight diaper, you deprive the baby butt with the oxygen. It causes sweating, raises the pH (the acidity parameter) and, helps diaper rash to go bigger. As a result, the friction causes more damage.

In addition, if your baby has got sensitive skin, the fragrances in disposable diapers or chemicals in some skincare products you use for your baby can do the remaining contribution to the formation of broken skin diaper rash. A process called chemical sensitivity or Chafing.

Furthermore, when you get new foods to your baby’s tummy, they disturb the bowel movements and then the pH of poop.

Also Read: My Newborn Is Always Sticking Out Tongue – Should I Be Worried?

WHAT CAUSES A BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH? |ANOTHER MOM INQUIRES

  • Baby wearing wet diapers for long. So, the skin gets contact with wee and poo
  • The tight diaper rubbing the nappy area skin. As a result, causing friction
  • Soap or detergent for washing
  • Bubble bath
  • Alcohol wipes causing irritation and sensitivity
  • Baby recently taking antibiotics
  • More folds of the healthy baby skin, certainly causing yeast rashes

If you do any of such things to your baby, get your hand out now. Consequently, this carelessness in handling baby can cause you and your baby much trouble in near days to come in the form of broken skin diaper rash.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

MEDICAL VARIANTS OF A BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH – THE MOST IMPORTANT THING MOMMY SHOULD KNOW

Though out of your scope, a protective mommy like you may have an interest in medical backgrounds of the broken skin diaper rash.

CANDIDA INFECTION

The rash invited yeast to the party. It loves to grow in a warm place you are providing him in the form of a long-wearing wet diaper. Candida causes a red, moist, bleeding rash in thigh folds or between the buttocks. So, see the red dots.

PSORIATIC DIAPER RASH

This is an inflammatory skin disease. Itchy plaques on thigh folds or butt cracks. Moreover, notice the belly bottom or behind the ear area too.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

BACTERIAL INFECTION

A staphylococcal or streptococcal infection causes scabs or sores. Draining pus can be the sign. In addition, see the anal area, which can bleed.

INFANTILE SEBORRHOIEC DERMATITIS

Cradle Cap on the head? But why it grows on the bottom as well? Yes, it grows. So, look for pink/yellow scales on inner thighs. They aren’t itchy though.

Also Read: When Can Babies Sleep With a Blanket?

MINOR IRRITATION OR ATTENTION-SEEKING SIGNS?

If you have found out about that unkind broken skin diaper rash, dig-in more to know about its depth or complications it caused. Your baby got the bumps of rashes on his bottom. Itchy and damped. It’s all okay. That is to say, you just need to go for the remedies now.

However, scaling, bleeding, or fever are some signs you need to look for in more detail now. And, if the rash appears on other parts as well, pus forms in it, open sores or yellow patches, baby not older than 6 weeks, and most importantly, diarrhea for more than 2 days along-with rashes, then you must stand up for the medical advice. These are the signs that can involve the inner body as well.

Furthermore, do look at some rashes-prone properties. Diarrhoeal stools more often, acidic stool or, sensitive skin.

Also Read: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn – Breathing Difficulty After Birth

HOW TO HANDLE THIS BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH? A SIGH OF RELIEF FOR ALL MOMMIES

TO HEAL THE DIAPER RASH RAPIDLY

  • Change the dirty/wet diaper straight away
  • Clean the nappy area thoroughly and gently. So, use water
  • Dry your baby gently. However, avoid vigorous rubbing
  • Lie your baby over a clean towel and give him a Tummy Time. So, his bum can breathe the fresh air for a while
  • Try out the barrier creams for the rashes. Use ointments that contain Zinc Oxide, Dexpanthenol, or Titanium Oxide. These chemicals soothe the rash.
  • Bath the baby daily. But, not more than twice a day, as it dries out the skin
  • Use warm water to clean the bottom and use gentle baby soap to clean

It will take just 3 days. And viola. The broken skin diaper rash is no more.

Also Read: Is Breastfeeding With A Cold Safe? A Comprehensive Guide For Mothers

WHAT IF IT DOESN’T GO?

Not to worry lady. Use anti-fungal, miconazole or clotrimazole, or steroids, hydrocortisone. But, take help from a pharmacist. However, don’t use it for more than 7 to 14 days. Leave it for 15 minutes before applying the diaper.

TO PREVENT BROKEN SKIN DIAPER RASH

DON’T

  • Use alcohol-based wipes. To clarify, use the fragrance-free ones to clean
  • Use diapers or creams with any dyes or preservatives.
  • Get fooled by ultra-absorbent attracting diapers advertisement
  • Overuse the baby powder. It can irritate the area and the baby night breathe it in lungs
  • Apply soap or lotions or go for a bubble-bath
  • Over-tight the diaper
  • Introduce solid foods all in one go

Also Read: When Do Boobs Stop Growing?

HOW ABOUT HOME REMEDIES?

For herbal-moms out there, who never agree to use the chemicals for the cute soft baby skin, try out the natural remedies for the broken skin diaper rash.

COCONUT OIL

Which mom doesn’t know about the wonders, coconut oil does to the human body for all ages? Well, the use of coconut oil to the rash area creates a local barrier, provides hydration. Moreover, it proves remedial against yeast infection.

 SHEA BUTTER

Want to get softer, yeast-protective, and rash-free skin for your baby. So, try out the shea butter.

BAKING SODA

Take 1 tub of warm water and add 1tbsp baking soda in it. Give your baby’s bottom a relaxing bath thrice a day. Baking soda soothes the skin and heals the rash, and, balances the pH.

Also Read: How Babies Get Colic? All You Need To Know About Baby Colic

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to your baby’s bathtub. As a result, yeast and bacteria will never hit the baby’s butt again.

ALOE VERA

Aloe vera does miracles to the inflammation. Use it for the sensitive skin and get rid of broken skin diaper rash.

PETROLEUM JELLY

To protect the baby’s nappy area, from the harms of wee or poo, petroleum jelly gets the bigger place. Therefore, use it every time you change the nappy.

MAKE YOUR CREAM

1 cup Olive Oil or 1 cup Coconut oil

4 tbsp beeswax pastilles

8 drops disinfecting Lavender oil

6 drops Antiseptic lemon oil

4 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Mix all of these and give a blend of herbal touch to your baby. After using that, you will never regret using it for broken skin diaper rash.

Also Read: Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

NO DIAPER NO RASH

Will the broken skin diaper rash tease you, if you don’t use the diaper anyway? However, you can use the cloth diaper. It won’t affect an inch to your baby’s nappy skin.

Why don’t let your baby go Au natural? Let’s potty train your baby at the right age of his life. So, his body’s excretory system may go all well before time.

Consequently, you will suffer a little bit more. This time, not getting into broken skin diaper rash thing, but “mama I wanna pee or poop, take me to the bathroom now” thing. And, enjoy the ride.

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

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Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

You will find people in all parts of the world with a baby born with teeth superstition. Do these superstitions have any reality in them or these are just beliefs of people we cannot give a satisfactory answer. However, this article will help you understand the science behind the babies born with teeth superstition. Rest is up to you to believe in any superstition about babies born with teeth.

Is it normal for a baby to have teeth at birth?

Teeth erupt between 4 to 7 months after the birth and this eruption is regarded as a milestone to monitor the growth and development of the baby. But if a baby is born with teeth, it will surprise you. However, natal teeth are only a few in numbers, mostly one (central incisor in 80%) but never complete set and are called natal teeth. This is a normal phenomenon and happens 1 in every 2,000 births.

There is nothing to worry about unless the teeth are hindering feeding or there is a risk of choking. Although you can have your baby born with teeth superstition, your pediatrician should be the one to make medical decisions regarding it.

Some babies aren’t born with teeth; however, they develop teeth within the first 28 days of life. These are called neonatal teeth and occur 1 in every 30,000 births.

Also Read: Stork Bites in Newborn – Do These Birthmarks Stay Forever?

The real reason behind natal teeth

The reason behind the natal teeth is still unclear. Some call it a genetic variation and others associate it with development syndromes. However, the debate is still open. Here are some common theories regarding natal teeth:

  • The rate of teeth eruption is controlled by an autosomal dominant gene which can be a factor in the eruption of teeth inside the womb.
  • Endocrine abnormalities like overproduction of hormones from pituitary, thyroid glands, or gonads can cause the development of teeth inside the womb.
  • Some studies have shown the over-activity of osteoblasts in the respective teeth area.
  • Similarly, infections like congenital syphilis or hypovitaminosis can cause early teeth eruption.
  • Those who advocate that natal teeth are part of development syndromes associate it with syndromes like; Ellis-van, Pierre-Robin, Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch, and Walker-Warburg.

Also Read: White Spots On Toddler’s Teeth – What Causes Them & How To Prevent?

Baby born with teeth superstition

Although you can find a ton of scientific knowledge common people have their own beliefs. That’s why we find a large number of people with their babies born with teeth superstition. Most of them make no sense whatsoever, but people believe in them and you can’t argue with that. Here are some popular superstitions regarding babies born with teeth.

First documentation in history

The story of the baby born with teeth superstition goes back to the very first time the natal teeth were documented in the history by Titus Livius, in 59 BC. He believed that the male infant who is born with natal teeth has a splendid future waiting ahead.

Also Read: My Newborn Won’t Sleep Unless Held – What Should I Do?

Malaysian culture

In Malaysian culture, people have the same baby born with teeth superstition as they believe that babies born with natal teeth will bring good fortune to the community.

Western community

In England, natal teeth are considered the sign of the great warriors and conquerors of the future. And even Shakespeare in his work has pointed out the superstition of King Richard being a great warrior with his natal teeth.

Chinese civilization

However, you will not find such an appreciation for them in all parts of the world. In China, there is a belief that natal teeth will bring bad omen. Unfortunately, some people even refer to such babies as monsters.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

India, Poland, and Africa

In contrast to other places, countries like India, Poland, and Africa have extreme superstitions regarding babies born with teeth. They believe that the baby will bring misfortune to the community. There are cases where they even killed such babies in their early days.

Some famous names

We also find some famous personalities around the world who were born with natal teeth and made their name. These names include; Napoleon, Hannibal, Richard the third, and Louis the fourteenth.

Also Read: Benadryl For Infants – Is It Safe To Use? How To Use It In Babies?

Baby born with teeth superstition: Reality vs Truth

According to some superstitions, babies born with teeth are fortunate children and brave warriors of the world. However, other superstitions in different parts of the world consider them unfortunate and even picture them as monsters. So the question is that “is there any reality behind these superstitions?”

The answer is not simple and straight. Although there is no scientific reasoning or data behind this people believe in these superstitions for centuries. It is hard to tell whether these superstitions at the time of development hold any data or sprung merely from the belief of people.

Today, science has made a lot of advancement and has failed to find any connection between natal teeth and these superstitions and strongly recommend you not to believe in any of the baby born with teeth superstitions.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

Complications of natal teeth

Natal teeth are normally safe and do not harm the baby or the mother. However, they can cause certain complications. These include;

Chocking

Natal teeth aren’t the strongest of the teeth and carry a significant movement which makes these teeth vulnerable to dislodge and choke the airway of the baby.

Difficulty in feeding

Babies born with teeth tend to refuse feeding either because of pain or difficulty feeding.

Also Read: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn – Breathing Difficulty After Birth

Ulceration of tongue

Coldrallin made an important observation in the tongue of babies born with teeth and was the first person to document the tongue ulceration caused by natal teeth. This disease is called Riga-Fede disease, after the name of the scientists who gave the histological explanation for it.

Ulceration of nipple

A baby can ulcerate the nipple while feeding. This can be a painful situation for the mother leading to feeding problems.

A pediatrician can surgically remove these natal teeth in case of complications or risk of choking. However, you cannot make this decision based on any superstition.

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Stork Bites in Newborn – Do These Birthmarks Stay Forever?

Stork bites in newborn? Nope. Neither do storks cause them. Nor are they bitemarks! However, you may have noticed your neonate sporting this birthmark as you see your bundle of joy for the first time. And yup, after seeing it, you may be having a lot of questions. So, let’s delve in and see what stork bites are all about!

Stork Bites, Angel Kisses, and Nevi?

Stork bites have loads of names. Also known as an angel kiss, a strawberry mark, or a salmon patch. All these are common names for a nevus simplex. A birthmark that is present in up to 30-50% of newborn babies.

A birthmark is a colored patch of skin that appears at birth. Or sometimes within the first month of life. They range from flat patches to small, raised bumps. And can appear anywhere on the body.

A nevus is also a birthmark. It is a benign lesion and hence not harmful. Nevi or stork bites appear anywhere on the baby’s body. From the forehead, upper lip, around the eyes and nose to the nape of the neck and even on the back, arms, and legs.

Stork bites have a very characteristic flat and pink look. Hence the term ‘salmon patch’.

Also Read: White Spots On Toddler’s Teeth – What Causes Them & How To Prevent?

What Causes Stork Bites in Newborn?

Contrary to the fable, storks do not cause stork bites in newborn. Though you may have often come across a picture of a stork carrying a cute baby!

Seeing that pink patch on the otherwise clear and soft newborn skin is bound to set you in a frenzy. You may be blaming yourself for some inconvenience you faced in pregnancy. Something unhealthy you ate during those nine months. Or maybe some trauma you or the baby faced while giving birth.

But rest assured. None of these causes stork bites in newborn. Not even storks themselves!

Also Read: My Newborn Won’t Sleep Unless Held – What Should I Do?

The Real Reason Behind Stork Bites in Newborns

So, what causes stork bites in newborn then? Yup, they can be inherited but the exact cause is often not known.

Stork bites in newborn or nevi are caused by the stretching or dilatation of blood vessels underneath the skin. They are the most common vascular malformation in infants. As they affect approximately 30-50% newborns.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

Changing Color of Stork Bites?

You may have seen the stork bite on your baby change color. This happens when your baby is crying or often when the temperature changes. This is because that stork bite in newborn, as we saw, is a vascular deformity.

Hence when your baby is crying or upset and exerting pressure, the blood flow in those stretched vessels changes. The same is the case when the temperature outside becomes hotter or colder than before.

This change in blood flow causes a temporary change in color. Even applying pressure on it would cause the color to fade. But it goes back to normal. Hence, no need to worry!

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Temporary or Permanent?

A stork bite in newborn isn’t the best of birthmarks when it comes to the appearance. Especially when it is large and appears as an unsightly patch on the face.

Though it is not harmful, as a parent you do have concerns. Which are rightly justified? So, you may be asking yourself, “Is the stork bite in newborn temporary, or will it stay forever?”

Stork bites or nevi are temporary in most cases. And often disappear as your child grows older. In around 90-95% of cases, the marks fade away and become lighter with age.

However, a nevus on the back of the neck may still persist despite your child entering his teens or adulthood. But as it gets covered by hair, it doesn’t cause any problems.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

Stork Bites and Treatment?

Stork bites in newborn often don’t need treatment. As they disappear by the time your baby turns 1 or 2 years of age.

As they are benign lesions, hence they do not need any intervention. Especially when your child is too young for them to bother their overall appearance.

But when your child is old enough to appreciate these angel kisses. They may ask for some treatment options. Especially when these stork bites are pretty evident and large in size. And are affecting the overall cosmetic appearance.

Also Read: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn – Breathing Difficulty After Birth

Diagnostic Tests for Stork Bites?

Diagnostic tests help doctors in deciding what disease a patient has. However, with nevus simplex, no test is required. The doctor figures out the condition on the basis of the appearance of the mark. Often it is an incidental finding during a routine physical exam.

Is Laser a Treatment Option?

Laser is an effective treatment option for stork bites. To reduce the appearance and decrease the size of the mark.

However, you may want to wait until your child is old enough. To wait for the mark to disappear naturally. And to see if the salmon patch does become troublesome for your child.

Laser therapy targets the blood vessels underneath the skin. Though it really works, you may need more than one session for the final result!

Also Read: Why is it Healthy to Become Pregnant Before 30?

Stork Bites in Newborn- When to See Your Doctor?

Stork bites in newborns are one of the many types of birthmarks babies can develop. And they often disappear with age without causing harm.

However, when should you check in with your doctor? If the stork bite appears after birth, that is after you have taken your baby from the hospital. That salmon patch can be alarming.

And you may want to check in with your pediatrician to cater to those concerns. Your doctor may also want to rule out any skin disorder.

Also do not hesitate in talking to your doctor if the stork bite becomes itchy, painful, or starts to bleed or increase in size.

Also Read: Premature Baby Complications – What To Expect As A Parent?

Stork Bites and Take-Home Messages?

Stork bites, angel kisses, salmon patches, strawberry marks- or just a nevus. Call it whatever you want. But stork bites in newborn are relatively harmless birthmarks. Which is why you may want to sit back and relax!

And don’t forget. The storks had nothing to do with it!

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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