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Newborn Health

Newborn Health


Having a newborn baby can be an exciting and stressful time for a new family. If you are feeling anxious or unsure about taking care of your newborn, remember to enlist the help of your friends, family and health care professional.


Newborn babies can feel but not think, they will cry when they are hungry or tired but their consciousness is not yet developed enough that they are aware of what is happening around them.



Physical characteristics
It is normal for your newborn to look a little unusual after the birth. Common concerns that new parents may have include:

  • Their babies’ head appearing misshapen,
  • Curved legs,
  • Soft spots on the babies’ head (known as fontanels),
  • A puffy face and eyes.


These characteristics are usually completely normal and are often due to the birthing process and change in environment. They will resolve themselves as the newborn develops and gets older.



Movement and development
During the first eight weeks of their life, newborns will have little control over their movement. Any movements will be involuntary reflexes and include things such as grasping, sucking and throwing their arms and legs out wide.


A newborn’s vision is still developing however they can still be overwhelmed by external stimuli. Your face will be the first thing they recognise so it is important to look your baby in the eyes and talk to him or her.



Looking after yourself
It is important for new parents to take some time for themselves and make sure they are as rested as possible. Try and nap when your baby is asleep, make time for gentle exercise, talk with other new parents and set aside some time for you and your partner to talk also. Remember to enlist the help of your friends and family if you are struggling.


It is normal to be on constant alert and to worry about your newborn. Call your doctor if your baby shows any of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature,
  • Signs of dehydration such as dry lips, dark yellow urine, tearless crying and cold blotchy hands and feet,
  • Blood in their vomit or stool,
  • Excessive diarrhoea, 
  • Rapid or laboured breathing patterns.


The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.





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