Your newborn baby: red and wrinkled

Your newborn baby might not be the cute, chubby and pink little bundle of joy you imagined. Just after the delivery your baby will be wet and red, and might have a squashed head and be screaming.

  • Skin is a dark red to purple colour (also depends on ethnic skin colour).
  • As the baby begins to breathe air, the color changes to red.
  • Hand and feet might be bluish for several days. This is a normal response to a baby's immature blood circulation.
  • Blue colouring of other parts of the body is not normal.
  • Some newborns develop a yellow colouring because of jaundice.

Your baby may have a longish, squashed-looking head. This results when the movable bones of the baby's head overlap to help the baby pass through the mother's birth canal. The normal shape usually returns by the end of the first week.

This is a white, greasy, cheese-like substance that covers the skin to protect it in the watery environment of the womb, and to help ease the birth process.

Downy hair on a baby's body, especially on the shoulders, back, forehead, and cheeks. This usually disappears before birth, unless the baby is born a little early, but also varies from baby to baby.

Milia are tiny, white, hard spots that look like pimples on a newborn's nose.

Erythema toxicum
Red rash on newborns that is often described as "flea bites." The rash is common on the chest and back, but may be found all over.

Newborn breast swelling
Breast enlargement may occur in newborn boys and girls around the third day of life because of hormonal changes.

Swollen genitals/discharge
  • A newborn's genitals may appear different depending on the gestational age (the number of weeks of pregnancy).
  • Premature baby girls may have a very prominent clitoris and inner labia. A baby born closer to full-term has larger outer labia.
  • Girls may have a small amount of whitish discharge or blood-tinged mucus from the vagina in the first few weeks. This is a normal occurrence related to the mother's hormones.
  • Premature boys may have a smooth, flat scrotum with undescended testicles. Boys born later in pregnancy have ridges in the scrotum and the testicles are usually descended.

Birth marks
Some of these marks may fade with time, while others will be a distinctive characteristic of your child for life.
Stork bites Small pink or red patches often found on a baby's eyelids, between the eyes, upper lip, and back of the neck.
Mongolian spots Blue or purple-colored splotches on the baby's lower back and buttocks.
Strawberry hemangioma This is a bright or dark red, raised or swollen, bumpy area that looks like a strawberry.
A port wine stain is a flat, pink, red, or purple colored birthmark.
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