Do I Need to Be Afraid of Blue Babies?

Most parents imagined their baby to be tiny, sweet-cheeked little bundle. Little did they know that babies look very different from what they imagined them to be. Babies are born in different shapes and sizes. Some babies are born a reddish purple color while there are babies who are born blue. Blue color babies are frightening and are a cause for concern.

Why babies look blue when they are born?

The skin color of babies at birth depends on various factors. Depending on how fair or dark your baby’s skin is, this color might be or less obvious. As your baby begins to breathe, the color of his skin will change. It is not normal for your baby’s hands and toes to remain bluish in color days after giving birth. This is maybe because his circulation system is still immature but will be resolved eventually. However, a blue color in other parts of the body is not normal and should be looked at.

What are the causes for a blue baby?

There are two reasons why babies are born blue and they are:

Cyanosis. This is considered as a serious condition. It is usually caused by a heart defect. A baby who is blue in appearance and is not moving or crying is considered to be in a respiratory or cardiac distress. The blue color caused by the de-oxygenated blood that is darker in color than oxygenated blood. This condition occurs when the heart is not pumping sufficient blood and there is a limited supply of oxygen.

Acrocyanosis. This is when a baby is born with his toes and hands are blue while the other parts of his body assume a pink color. This is mainly because the umbilical cord is still intact until it stops pulsating while the blood and oxygen are still being pumped to the baby.

There are times when babies are born purple in appearance. This is because there was a minor oxygen deprivation in the last moments of his birth. The color will eventually change to pink once their blood is fully oxygenated again.

Mothers who have health problems such as low or high blood pressure will have an impact on how well her baby copes during labor and his condition at birth. A care provider will monitor the mother’s condition and will check the baby that there is no problem regarding lack of oxygen. If the mother is using pain relievers that contain narcotics or opioids, the chance of the baby’s heart rate to drop during labor is high. This will also lead to a blue appearance of the baby’s skin.

What will happen if my baby is born blue?

Your baby is struggling when he is born blue, floppy, barely or not moving at all, and doesn’t or has a very weak cry. Your care provider will assess the baby to encourage breathing such as rubbing the baby’s body vigorously, blowing his face to stimulate breathing, and to adjust his position to drain any mucus from the airways. If rubbing your baby doesn’t resolve the problem, your care provider will begin the artificial ventilation using a mask and a bag to get oxygen flowing into the lungs of your baby.

If the situation is not immediately treated, there can be severe outcomes for the baby such as cerebral palsy, seizures, behavioral disorders, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, or death can occur because of the severe brain injury due to the lack of oxygen.

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