If you are a new mom, you may have read all the books- but there are still a few things that can catch you by surprise. Even after eight children, I know there are "new" things that have come up with each child, that I wasn't aware of before. It's impossible to know everything, so make sure you keep in communication with your pediatrician if you ever think that something isn't right with your infant, but here's a quick list of some pretty common issues that you may or may not be aware of- hopefully this helps you to be a little more prepared!
Torticollis- have you ever worked up with a stiff neck and not been able to turn your head a certain way? That's exact what Torticollis is- for your baby.You can tell this might be an issue, if your little one seems to always turn their head to a single direction or if you are breastfeeding and they really prefer one side only. It can happen while in the womb or during childbirth. If you notice any symptoms of this, mention it to your doctor. You have a few treatment options, which include physical therapy or a chiropractor. You can also help your little one by encouraging them to turn to the “non-prefered” side. Tummy time can also help and your doctor may be able to give you some additional stretching exercises or massages to do at home.
Thrush- Oral Thrush is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth. Your little one may show signs of not wanting to eat, but the big give away on this one is a white coated tongue that sticks around. If you see a white tongue after a feeding- it may just be “milk tongue” or leftovers of the milk, but if it doesn’t go away, and the white is on other parts of the mouth (like the gums)- it’s likely thrush. Your doctor can give you medication to assist in clearing up the infection. If you are breastfeeding, you will want to be sure to treat your nipples as well as baby so you don’t pass the infection back and fourth. Make sure you clean all laundry used (including towels you dry yourself with) in hot water- after every use. Any bottles, pacifiers, or anything else that goes in your little one’s mouth should be sterilized. Yeast has a habit of creeping back up again, so make sure you talk to your doctor about how long you should keep treating after symptoms disappear.
Heart Murmur- It’s terrifying to hear that your little one’s heart isn’t beating normally, but it’s actually pretty common for babies to have a heart murmur. If your doctor finds one at your appointment, they will likely send you to a cardiologist for follow up- it’s something to take seriously, but also something that could just take some time to get babies heart rhythm “regular”- their little bodies are learning all kinds of new things! Make sure to ask the doctor any questions that come to mine- don’t be shy about it. Know that you aren’t alone in hearing this news- so don’t be afraid to talk to other moms to see if they have been down the same road. You might just be surprised.
Croup- If you have ever heard croup, you will never forget it- it sounds a lot like a barking. It can be pretty scary too, as it seems like your little one can’t breathe at all and it does commonly flare up at night. A majority of the time, with rest, cool midst humidifier, or running a very hot shower and sitting with your child in the stem filled bathroom, and fluids- will help to clear things up, but on occasion you may need to seek medical attention. If your child as fast or labored breathing, can’t talk or walk, is pale, has an issue swallowing, you can’t or have a hard time waking them up, or they are dehydrated- get medical attention right away.
Rashes- At some point, it’s likely that your little one will end up with a rash- that you can’t pinpoint the cause of. If they do come down with a rash, have your doctor take a look at it. They can sometimes be tricky to diagnose and treat, it’s important to have a doctor check it out in person. Rashes can be caused by a million different things- anything from Eczema to heat rash, to an illness. Be sure to get medical attention sooner, rather then later if there are other illness symptoms that accompany the rash, if you see blisters, the rash is widespread, or you see any signs of infection with the rash.