What is bruising in newborns?

Bruising in Newborns
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Bruising in newborns: Overview

Many babies look a little less than perfect in the first few days or weeks after birth. Sometimes they can have bruising or swelling. Their eyes may look puffy. Or they may have blood spots in the whites of their eyes. They also can have flat blood spots on their skin called petechiae (say "puh-TEE-kee-eye"). And they may have jaundice. This can make the skin and eyes look yellowish.

All of these things are common in newborn babies. Your newborn should soon get that cute and healthy baby look.

How can you care for bruising in your newborn?

  • There's nothing special you need to do for your newborn baby. The bruising, swelling, and blood spots should soon go away on their own.
  • If your baby's skin or eyes look yellow, your doctor probably will ask you to keep checking your baby at home to make sure the jaundice is going away. For dark-skinned babies, gently press on your baby's skin on the forehead, nose, or chest. Then when you lift your finger, check to see if the skin looks yellow.

Bruising in newborns: When to call

  • Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
    • Your baby is very sleepy or hard to wake up.
    • There is a new or increasing yellow tint to your baby's skin or the whites of the eyes.
    • Your baby has new bruises or blood spots under the skin.
    • There's blood in your baby's stool.

Watch closely for changes in your baby's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your baby has any problems.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.