Preparing for Birth Australian Edition Partial Preview - Page 20
There are many normal variations in newborn appearances. Some of these variations are a result of
baby’s environment and position before birth, the events of labour and birth, or are simply heredity.
Vernix is a thick, white, “cheesy” or waxy substance
that protects newborn skin in utero. Generally, babies
born earlier have more. Vernix can be rubbed in to take
advantage of its protective and moisturising properties or Lanugo
wiped away with a towel or bath.
Lanugo is a soft, downy hair that sometimes covers
newborn skin, either over the whole body or in patches.
It is simply the first hair of the follicles and will fall out in
the weeks following birth.
Blotchy Skin or Rash, Head Moulding
Dry, peeling or blotchy/patchy skin is common, as well
as cradle cap, in which dry, flaky skin forms scabs on the
scalp and forehead. All of these conditions are harmless
and usually resolve without treatment.
The newborn skull consists of five bone plates that slide
over each other to allow the head to mould to the shape
of the birth canal. These bones also allow the baby’s
brain to grow after birth. This “cone head” appearance
diminishes soon after birth.
Milia and Nursing Blister
Milia (small white bumps on the skin) is common. It is best
left alone and will subside with time.
A nursing blister is a non-painful blister on the middle of
baby’s upper lip. These are common in the first few weeks.
Long-term, severe or persistent lip blistering may need
attention from a care provider or lactation professional.
Life with Baby