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Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #074 - Baby Stuff
November 01, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Baby Medical Q&A News.

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This month I thought I would share some questions and answers about babies. Question topics include:

  • skin tags on the ears - this is not umcommon and there are procedures that should be put in place so it's best to know
  • vitamin supplementation in babies - breast-fed babies in particularly are likely to benefit from vitmain supplementation

Finally I share with you a great breast-feeding website and resource and some new research about when to introduce gluten (flour) to babies.

Question: My daughter is 2 weeks old and was born with a skin tag on each ear. I saw my primary doctor today for a weight check (she was premie) i asked her to tie off the skin tags, so she did. At first they turned purple and got darker with time. But now the larger one has a blister on it and the blister has gotten larger and looks like it may pop. Is this normal? I tried googleing it and found nothing. I am very concerned because ive never dealt with something like this. By the time the blister started to form my doctors office was closed so i cannot call to ask them. I plan on calling right away in the morning. But if there is anything you can say to put my mind at ease it would be greatly appreciated!!

Answer: I have to admit that I don't tie off skin tags anymore, particularly if they are in a visible site. I send them to a pediatric or plastic surgeon as generally the result is better particularly if the base of the skin tag is thick.

Tying off can be successful if the base is very narrow but you can't be sure how the skin tag will react.

The blister probably reflects the fact that the base was not that narrow. If you leave the blister then the skin under should heal. If the blister is very full, prick it with a sharp sterilized pin or needle and let the fluid out but still leave a covering to protect the underlying new skin formation.

Skin tags on the ears can sometimes be associated with kidney problems so most babies with skin tags on the ears are sent for an ultrasound of the kidneys to make sure they are normal - I would request this if it hasn't already been organized. If there are abnormalities in the kidneys it is better to know as soon as possible to reduce further long term damage to the kidneys - so, in these cases, the ear tags are a helpful clue.

Question:My 2 week old baby's legs are in frog like position.

Answer:Legs in the frog like position is normal for babies. I wouldn't be worried especially if you can move your baby's legs in all normal directions.

Question: What type of vitamin can I give such a 2 week old baby?

Answer: Newborn babies can have a vitamin mix containing Vitamins A, B, C and D such as Vi-Daylin, Abidec or Vitadol C. The brand may be different in your country. Usually we just give 0.3 ml or 10 drops daily and these can be give up to 5 years of age. The vitamins can be started once babies are on established feeds.

You can read more on the nutrition page.

Great breast-feeding website
If you have checked out Breastfeeding Your Quest to Success and are a new mother, then it is well worth it. The DVD available on the site is excellent -it's so informative and it covers all the main topics new breastfeeding mothers need to know.

Introduction of Gluten into the Diet of Babies
There is a lot of chatter about delaying introduction of foods such as gluten to babies in an effort to try an reduce allergy or other intolerance such as celiac disease. As I mention on the allergy pages, there is no evidence to support delaying introduction of these foods and doing so may actually increase the risk.

A new study has also come up with the same conclusion - to reduce the risk of celiac disease, avoid early (before 4 months of age) or delayed (after 7 months of age) introduction of gluten - so start giving somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age.

Reference: Szajewska et al. Systematic Review:Early infant feeding and prevention of coeliac disease. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2012. Vol 36, Issue7;607-618

Please feel free to share this ezine with family and friends.

Till next time,

Dr Maud

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