Congratulations on your baby girl! Just as you are admiring her twinkling eyes and tiny fingers, you need to brace yourselves for a little shock when you see her ‘down there’ for the first time. Your baby’s genitals will look nothing like yours at birth. From appearing swollen to bleeding and vaginal discharge, there a number of things a newborn’s vagina might go through after birth.
Read this, so you don’t panic during the first diaper change!
Your baby’s vagina at birth
Firstly, do not freak out seeing your baby’s vagina, simply because it might look a tad bit different from yours. In particular, you may notice the outer lips to be swollen and puffy, while the skin of the labia might be smooth or wrinkled. You might sometimes also see a pink tissue protruding between the labia. This is called the hymenal tag and will eventually disappear into the labia as your little own grows.
You might also notice that the two inner lip of the vagina is completely or partially fused. This condition is called labial adhesion and will vanish with time.
Blame it all on the hormones
Like it or not, your pregnancy hormones travel into your baby’s system too. Pregnancy hormones can be all over the place, even after you deliver your little bundle of joy. And that is exactly why the mood swings continue too. While mothers do pass on a wee bit of these hormones to their little girls even while they are in the womb, turns out that breastfeeding can also cause exchange of these hormones. And it is because of this that you will notice pink or red vaginal discharge in newborn baby girls. This is often referred to as false menstruation.
The increased female hormones also cause small lumps in the infant’s chest (male and female). Newborn menstruation might last for a day or two or a week in some babies.
When should you worry?
While bleeding for over a week is normal, anything beyond that calls in for concern. Also, if you do notice the colour of the bleeding to be dark red, just like it happens in adults, contact your doctor immediately. Foul smell, excessive bleeding, or indications of infection are also reasons to panic.
How to care for her genitals?
Nature takes care of the cleaning and caring in a nice way. However, a few pointers will definitely help you be more careful with her parts. Gently spread the labia and clean out the creases. There is no need to go deeper. While wiping, always wipe from front to back to keep the vagina free from bacterial infection transferred from stools. Also, avoid soap. Lukewarm water and cotton swabs are the best when it comes to cleaning your newborn’s vagina.
If there is any discharge that won’t come out even after repeated cleaning, leave it. Do not try to remove it as it will get washed away with time. After a bath, do not rub your baby’s genitals. Instead simply pat her dry. As long as the area is cleaned gently after every diaper change and there are no traces of pee or poop, your baby’s genitals will be hale and healthy.
Feature image source: babycenter.com