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When To Call Your Pediatrician

There are some physical conditions that are common during the first weeks after birth. If you notice any of the following conditions, you should contact your pediatrician.

Abdominal Distention: You will notice that your baby's abdomen seems to stick out after large feedings and feels soft when touched. This is common, however, if your baby's abdomen remains swollen and feels hard determine when the last bowel movement took place. If it has been several days since a bowel movement or if your baby is vomiting, you should call your pediatrician. Your baby may be suffering from gas, constipation, or a serious intestinal problem.

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Birth Injuries: If your labor was difficult your baby may have birth injuries. This is especially common in large babies. A broken collar bone is a common birth injury that usually heals quickly if the arm on the side that was broken is bound and kept motionless. A small lump may form on the site of the fracture after a few weeks. This is a common sign that new bone is forming to repair the injury. Your pediatrician can advise you on how to care for any broken bones.

Muscle weakness is another type of birth injury that can occur when the baby's muscles are stretched or when too much pressure is placed on the nerves attached to the muscles. The face, shoulders or arms are common sites for muscle weakness and will generally return to normal after several weeks.

Blue Baby: A newborn baby may have blue hands and feet. Other parts of his body like his face, tongue, and lips may turn slightly blue when he is crying. When he is done crying his normal color should return. If your baby's skin color stays persistently blue this may be a sign of a heart or lung problem. You should seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

Coughing: Your baby may cough a lot during feedings. This is common during the first several weeks or months as your baby learns to nurse or bottle feed. If your baby continues to cough or choke during feedings, you should consult with your pediatrician. Your baby may have an underlying problem with his lungs or digestive tract.