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Being a new mom is like waking up to find yourself in an entirely new planet where you don’t know the rules, what to expect, or what you should be doing. But, with time you start to develop your sense of motherhood through trial and error.
For a first-time mom, there are some things about your newborn that you should know so you don’t end up panicking.
Your newborn’s poo is as black as ink!
That sounds pretty creepy, right? Imagine changing your baby’s diaper to find this sticky substance that is as black as tar. This weird substance is called meconium and is composed of fluid from the womb, mucus, and anything that the baby digested while inside the womb. The good news is that it isn’t smelly since it doesn’t yet have the gut bacteria that makes poop have a distinct icky smell.
It’s normal for your baby to lose weight
Seeing your newborn lose weight in their first couple of days can make any new mom feel distraught. However, it has nothing to do with your little one not getting enough food.
Babies are born with extra fluids which their bodies get rid of after they are born. That’s why it is entirely normal for your baby to lose between 7-10% of their weight after they’re born. Don’t worry, your little one should regain that weight within the first 2 weeks.
Birthmarks are very common
You’d be surprised how many babies are born with birthmarks. In most cases, they will probably disappear over time. However, there are certain marks, such as a bright red strawberry, which are a result of fast-growing vessels. While most of them disappear, it could take several years until it does.
Baby girls can get periods, too
The sight of blood is always alarming, but understanding where it comes from can help you feel less traumatized as a first-time mommy. Because your baby girl still has some of your hormones in her system, this can result in her secreting a mini period or a white discharge in the first few days after her birth.
Baby boys can have swollen genitals
Due to the excess fluids in their bodies, your little boy’s genitals can get swollen. As a new mother, it is normal to worry; however, the swelling will reduce within a few days.
Babies can stop breathing for a few seconds
Seeing your baby stop breathing can feel like an absolute nightmare. But, as a new mommy, you should know that it’s normal for a baby to have irregular breathing. As long as they’re not turning blue or not breathing for longer than 10 seconds, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Babies’ noses get clogged
Unlike us, babies have trouble toggling between breathing through their nose and mouth. That’s why it is important for a mom to make sure that the baby’s nose is cleaned out.
The cleaning process is pretty straightforward and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can give a baby a warm bath, humidifier, or use a few drops of unmedicated saline nasal drops in their nostrils.
Babies can be born with breasts
Yes, you read that right. Even your little boys can be born with small tiny breasts. When you see this for the first time, you can feel alarmed. But, this is entirely normal just like baby girls secreting blood. Don’t worry if it leaks milk, too, this is normal as the baby can absorb estrogen from the mother. However, it is best not to squeeze the lumps as it can be painful and these will go within a few weeks.
Baby boys get erections
There’s nothing wrong with your baby and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But, it often happens just before they pee, so it could be used as a warning sign to be prepared.
Further reading: Does Pregnancy Make You More Vulnerable to COVID-19?