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Bruising in Newborns: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

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.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • 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.

When should you call for help?

  • Call your doctor or nurse advice line 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 or nurse advice line if your baby has any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.