How Will My Newborn Look?

New moms fawn over their babies, and sometimes an anxious mother can make mountains out of molehills, or…cute little dimples. Some mothers are concerned about their baby's looks because the birthing process can scrunch up their faces. Informing yourself about why your baby may look a bit strange after birth will reassure you that eventually, your baby will be handsome and, of course, extremely cute. Here's what you can expect when you first examine your newborn.

Caput succedaneum is a blister-like bump on your baby's forehead. It may be feel spongy, as it is a buildup of fluid in your baby's scalp tissue. This only happens to vaginally born babies and is caused by the trip down the birth canal. This may look serious, but will disappear on its own after a few days.

Lanugo hair is a soft, downy and sometimes dark hair that can be found on your baby's head, trunks or limbs. It is usually shed during the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. It is also an indication of premature birth, and many parents will have babies with lanugo hair. It's even possible for babies to be born with quite long and dark lanugo hair. It doesn't require any treatment; lanugo will fall out on its own a few weeks after birth and replaced with your baby's natural hair color.

These hard, white spots resemble pimples and are found on your newborn's nose. Milia occur when dead, sloughed-off skin becomes trapped under these small pockets of skin. They usually have a pearly texture. You will notice milia on your newborn's nose, forehead, chin or cheeks. They will usually disappear within the first few weeks following birth.

Head Molding
During a vertex, or head-first, birth, the pressure of passing through the birth canal can 'mold' the head into an oblong shape.

Mongolian Spots
These are blue slate-grey spots that appear at birth or shortly thereafter. They are harmless and may appear at the base of the spine, by the buttocks, anywhere on the back or at the base of the shoulders. 90% of cases occur in dark-skinned babies. They usually fade after the first year and seldom extend into adult life.

Newborn Breast Swelling
You baby may have enlarged breasts that leak a milky substance. This appears around the third day of life. It's caused by the mother's hormone. Don't squeeze the baby's breast, as this could cause an infection. The swelling will go down in a few days to weeks.

Stork Bites or Salmon Patches
Stork bites appear on the eyelids, upper lip, forehead, between the eyes or on the back of your newborn's neck. Legend has it that your newborn got these marks when the stork picked him up. The pale red patches also resemble salmon scales. Immature blood vessels cause these patinas and they will become most noticeable when your baby sheds tears. They appear in a third of all newborns and will disappear at about 18 months of age.

Strawberry Hemangioma
This is caused by immature blood vessels that form a raised, strawberry-like red patch on the baby's skin. In most cases, the hemangioma will only appear a few weeks after birth, and will grow in size and then gradually fade by nine years of age.

This creamy, white substance coats baby skin while still in the womb (around the 20th week). It is formed by sebaceous glands when skin cells drop off into the amniotic fluid. It serves to protect the skin from amniotic fluid. Without vernix, the baby's skin would be deeply wrinkled from its constant exposure to the fluid. Once born, the vernix can be wiped off the head and from between folds; the rest will slowly absorb into the skin.

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