Infants are especially vulnerable in the first few weeks and months following birth when they leave the protection of the womb and enter the real world. Learning to breathe and feed are only some of the things they’ll do throughout this period. Additionally, their lungs and heart and brain and kidneys and liver, and other organs learn to work together at this time. In some cases, they may be born with a congenital disorder or be more susceptible to illnesses. Therefore, it is best to be informed of newborns’ health issues and how to deal with them to best care for your child.
Here are some of the most common illnesses you need to be aware of.
- Congenital Disorders:
Birth injuries or congenital disorders result fromharm to the baby before, during, and even shortly after the delivery. These occur due to complications during birth, maternal issues, or negligence of the medical personnel. Some birth injuries are minor, and the child’s body heals naturally or with the help of minimal treatments. But sometimes, the complications last a lifetime and result in disability or illnesses.
If your baby has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you can file a lawsuit with the Birth Injury Justice Centerand receive financial compensation for your child’s treatment.Most common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, brain damage, Erb’s palsy, etc.
- Diarrhea and Vomiting:
Diarrhea and vomiting are very common in newborns. But don’t confuse diarrhea with an occasional loose stool. If it is frequent, watery, and smells stronger than your baby’s regular dirty diaper, it is diarrhea, and you need to contact the child’s pediatrician.
Similarly, it is common for babies to spitup sometimes. But if your baby is vomiting more often and shows signs of distress and pain,it is not a normal spit-up.
Diarrhea and vomiting result from bacteria, viruses, food poisoning, sensitivities, allergies, or infections. Both diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration in babies,suchas dark yellow urine, lethargy, sunken eyes, or a dry mouth.
Most newborns suffer from colic,which makes it even more difficult because the exact cause of colic is unknown. Mostly, it happensdue to hormones that cause stomach pain, gas, a growing digestive system, or overstimulation by sound or light.
When a baby cries for much longer intervals, especially at night, without any apparent reason, it means the baby has colic. A 2-week-old infant can have colic, but mostly it goes away by the time the kid is three months old. It usually occurs due to a baby’s intolerance to milk, wheat, or other food.
However, if the situation does not improve even after 3 months, there might be some other underlying factors. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor early for diagnosis.
- Bloated Belly:
Abdominal distension is very common in infants.Babies have soft bellies, so you can touch and see when the baby’s belly is hard or bloated. They can feel distressed after feeding and develop a bloated belly due to gas, constipation, or swallowing excess air.
It happens because the baby’s body has not entirely adjusted to the feeding. Once the body gets used to feeding, it goes away. But if it does not, it can be a sign of an internal organ issue that you need to get checked by a professional.
- Ear Infections:
Most babies suffer from ear infections during their first year. The issue with this one is that you cannotphysically see it,but the baby will let you know. If the baby cries and touches, rubs, or tags her ears, it is a sign of an ear infection. Ear infections are also accompanied by cold and fever.
Ear infections can result due to sinuses or flu issues.Fluid builds up behind the eardrum, leading to redness and pain in the ears. Also, during teething, babies catch ear infectionsbecause of pain in the jaw.
There might even be a discharge from both or one ear in case of severe infection. Pediatricians usually prescribe antibiotics for treating ear infections.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis:
The immune system of newborns takes time to develop fully and thus cannot fight bacteria very well in the early stages. Hence, most babies develop bacterial conjunctivitis. It makes the eyes red, watery, and swollen. There might be a discharge from one or both eyes.
Infants develop this condition whenbacteria entertheir eyes. Bacteria can enter the eyes in several ways. For example, if you touch them with dirty hands, or some object or a person carrying bacteria comes in contact with them, etc. It also happens due to excessive exposure to bright light.
As their bodies are developing and their immune systems are adapting to the surrounding environment,it is common for newborns to fall sick. Don’t freak out if that happens, and be mentally prepared. Monitor any symptoms and immediately consult a doctor or healthcare provider ifsomething goes wrong.