Why are some babies born unhappy: there are many factors that can lead to a fussy baby. This article will divulge 15 medical reasons baby is born unhappy.
Babies can be upset for a variety of reasons, but when the baby isn't feeling healthy, it's more likely to cry and be difficult to soothe. Baby can experience so many different medical issues right after birth. These medical issues can leave the baby with serious health concerns. Baby may have difficulty breathing or maintaining blood sugar levels. Whatever the reason, baby can struggle to feel safe and secure.
Some of these issues can be avoided while others can not. Every mom wants to do what she can to make sure baby is happy and healthy. Keep reading to find out how mom's role comes into play.
How long will medical issues keep baby from being happy? So far it's not clear. This can be a case-by-case basis. Some babies may continue to feel insecure about life based on their entrance into the world. Others will be born with a will to fight and make things better. Only time will tell how these early experiences will play out in each baby's temperaments and happiness.
Premature babies face a host of complications. Depending on the case, a premature baby can be in a life-threatening situation. Some babies struggle to breathe while others can't seem to thrive. Heart defects and other connective issues are more common in premature babies. Some parents think that their children have long-term personality differences like being timid and unsure after being born prematurely. Other parents say there is no difference between their premature child and another child once the early child begins to thrive. In the first weeks and months of life, a premature child may be poked and prodded more than other children. The extra tests run on premature babies can leave them crying more and feeling stressed. To help combat this, some hospitals give sugar water or pacifiers to the babies to soothe them during and after the testing is finished. It is common for premature babies to have more issues with sucking.
By being born early, they didn't have the time to practice sucking in the womb and to develop stronger mouth and tongue muscles. This can make feedings more challenging and lead baby to be more unhappy.
Premature babies may have to be fed differently until they can develop the correct sucking and breathing sequence. Pacifiers can be one was for premies to get the extra practice they need.
14 Blood Sugar Problems
Blood sugar problems can make baby feel yucky and unhappy when its born. Often, a baby has blood sugar problems if mom had uncontrolled diabetes before the baby was born. This could be of type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. If mom didn't control her blood sugar levels either through diet and exercise or medication, baby's body becomes used to the high levels of sugar in the blood.
Once the baby is born and no longer in contact with mom's high blood sugar, baby can experience a sudden and dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.
At the hospital, a blood test or two is often conducted to check baby's blood sugar levels. A decrease in blood sugar could make the baby feel very unhappy. This could mean that baby could have a seizure or other serious medical issue from the change in blood sugar. It is a prime reason to send the baby to the NICU. By nursing or feeding the baby, mom can help to keep baby's blood sugar at a reasonable level. Mom can also help the baby by testing her blood sugar if she has diabetes and making sure it doesn't get too high - especially before she delivers.
13 Distress In The Womb
Distress in the womb can bring the baby into the world in a miserable condition. Distress can happen for many different reasons. It can happen quickly and have severe results. When baby becomes distressed in the womb, he has to struggle to maintain life. Some babies have racing heart rates while others experience quickly falling heart rates. A baby might have a lack of oxygen or could become entangled in the umbilical cord.
Any one of these situations plus a variety of other dangerous situations bring a baby into the world as they struggle to survive.
For some babies, this is just a quick incident while others will have lifelong problems from the distress they experienced in the womb. For babies with a lack of oxygen, the amount of time they didn't get enough oxygen can have lifelong effects. Children can quickly encounter brain damage or other physical issues from a lack of oxygen during childbirth. This is why doctors are often so quick to act when the baby becomes distressed in the womb. Constant monitoring allows the doctor to keep a closer eye on the baby. If the baby doesn't seem to be doing well, most doctors will act quickly to ensure a good outcome for both mom and baby.
A baby is born with a specific set of personality traits.
All babies will experience some of the same characteristics, but the specific combination can be unique to each child.
Understanding a baby's temperament can help to more efficiently parent them and make them comfortable and happy in more situations. Some research points to mom's blood pressure during pregnancy as an indicator of temperament. Environment and family may also effect baby's temperament.
The author of "Happiest Baby on The Block" describes four main types of temperament in babies. Those temperaments include easy, challenging, sensitive and intense. Dr. Harvey Karp writes, "As babies grow up, they don’t get less intense or sensitive, but they do develop skills to help balance their temperamental swings. By 3 months, your baby’s smiling, cooing, rolling, grabbing and chewing will help her handle excitement and annoyance. And another month or two after that shell add the superb self-soothing skills of laughter, mouthing objects and moving about.
With time, the excitement that used to ignite her shrieks will start a bubbly flow of giggles. So if you have a challenging baby, don’t lose heart. Passionate infants often become the biggest laughers and most talkative members of the family."
11 Negative Emotions From Parents
Babies are susceptible to their environments both inside and outside of the womb. They are experts at reading the emotions in a room and using them to inform their own feelings. Alexander Murphy of Vanderbilt examined the research connecting parents' emotions to emotional outcomes in the child throughout life. She wrote that research found that "children more prone to negative emotions or episodes of anger are deeply affected by hostile... parenting, often leading to even more behavioral problems. Difficult temperaments can become a bidirectional problem that evokes even more negative emotions from the parent if not monitored.
"Parents should be aware that not only do their own emotions and parenting style affect the emotional outcomes of their children, but if they are not aware of how their children’s tempers affect them, they could fall into a spiral of ineffective and indifferent parenting which further contributes to negative behaviors from the children."
Other key pieces of research find that children's view of the world is shaped by their early experiences with their parents. David Fassler, Md. wrote in his book "Help Me, I'm Sad: Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Childhood and Adolescent Depression" wrote that babies of moms with Postpartum depression "... may be withdrawn and whiny, and may stop reacting to people at all".
10 Toxic Exposure
Substance use is on the rise across the country, and the effects on baby can be extreme. Along with a plethora of health and developmental outcomes, drugs can cause the baby to be born unhappy. This unnatural in-vetro exposure to drugs can make baby's start in life very rough. Baby will struggle to exist without the drugs coursing through mom's veins once born which will lead to much pain and unhappiness. Drugrehab.org cited that recent research found "30 to 40 percent of drug-exposed three-year-olds demonstrated difficulties focusing, articulating needs and wants, and controlling behavior, among a myriad of other fine motor control and developmental delays seen across nearly all addiction types." Research shows that as many as 30% of pregnant women drink some alcohol during pregnancy. As of now, no level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is known to be safe. Low birth weight and small head circumference are common effects of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy.
Children exposed in the womb often go through detox once they are born.
This can be very difficult and even life-threatening to the baby. On top of the immediate effects, baby can experience lifelong deficiencies in brain function and other health issues.
9 Failure To Thrive
In the first years of life, a child grows and develops rapidly. In the first year alone, a child's brain will grow as much as it will for the rest of the child's life according to KidsHealth. That's one crucial reason why excellent health and nutrition are so important in the first years of life.
Failure to thrive is a condition where the baby is not growing as much as expected for its age. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Baby might be getting the nutrients needed through diet but because of other intestinal issues, it's isn't able to absorb the nutrients correctly.
On the other hand, the baby might have a lacking diet or other life conditions that make it difficult to thrive as expected. Failure to thrive is a general condition that only describes the fact that baby isn't reaching growth markers as expected. This condition can lead the baby to be born unhappy for a variety of reasons. The cause of the baby failing to thrive can lead to unhappiness in the baby. The baby could experience more stress in life as it has challenges to grow and thrive as expected. Just as the cause can be inconspicuous, the effects on baby's temperament and happiness can to be varied.
8 Mom’s Milk Doesn’t Come In
Mom's milk will take a few days to come in. Until mom's milk comes in, baby gets essential nutrients from colostrum, a thick and nutritious substance that comes in when the baby is born or the days leading up to the birth. In some cases, mom has difficulty producing milk. For some women, their milk will never come in. Since formula has come a long way in the last decades, mom has options for feeding the baby that will allow the baby to thrive.
That is, once she notices that her milk isn't coming in. If mom doesn't notice or waits too long to supplement with formula, it can quickly become a dangerous situation for the baby. A newborn baby can quickly become dehydrated.
Mom has difficult choices to make if she fears her milk isn't coming in. To help her breasts produce milk, she needs to continue nursing the baby. Introducing formula can keep baby from nursing and further inhibit mom's ability to provide milk. On the other hand, mom has to ensure that the baby is getting the nutrients needed to survive. There are many reasons mom might not be able to produce milk. Medications, stress, birth control or other deficiencies in mom's body might keep her from producing milk at all, or it may severely limit the amount of milk she can deliver.
7 Birth Injury
The baby may incur an injury during birth. This could happen to their head, face, neck, brain, spinal cord or body. Some birth injuries leave baby bruised and sore while others lead to severe injury or even death.
Birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. Usually, the baby is having difficulty passing through the birth canal. Either due to the procedure used or a combination of tools and methods lead to injury to the child.
Any level of severity of the birth injury will leave baby unhappy at birth as they try to heal from the pain and trauma caused. Large babies, premature babies, difficult labor or childbirth, abnormal birth position, prolonged labor or unusual shape of mom's pelvis can all lead to birth injuries according to Stanford Children's Health. Swelling, bruising, bloodshot eyes and bleeding under the cranial bones are less severe forms of birth injury. Usually, these heal in the days or weeks following birth. Facial paralysis and fractures are more severe birth injuries. Long-term injuries can happen based on the severity of broken bones or lack of oxygen during delivery. Improperly manipulating the baby's body during birth or human error can also lead to birth injuries.
6 Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension happens when the newborn's blood flow changes back to that of a fetus. When this happens, much of the blood doesn't circulate through the lungs. It isn't a prevalent condition, arising only to 1 in 1,250 babies according to Standford Children's Health.
It most frequently happens after a full term, or late term baby has a difficult birth. A lack of oxygen during birth may lead to the condition. Also, certain medications mom takes during late in pregnancy could also lead to this condition.
These medications include anti-inflammatory drugs and certain SSRIs. Having a lack of oxygenated blood will make life more difficult for the baby and is sure to make baby unhappy. The baby needs to have blood full of oxygen pumping through its veins once it is breathing on its own after being born. Even breathing in pure oxygen can leave babies with this condition without enough oxygen in the body. The baby's organs can suffer damage without enough oxygen. A baby with this condition might have rapid breathing or rapid heart rate as their body desperately tries to get the oxygen it needs. The baby might start to turn blue. It is certain that baby's with this stress early on will be unhappy and only worried about survival.
5 Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Respiratory distress syndrome happens most frequently in preterm babies who are born before 37 to 39 weeks. As the baby struggles to breathe, it is difficult for baby to be happy.
That's why RDS can lead to an unhappy baby. For most babies, with treatment, this condition will pass in the 2 to 4 days following birth. Premature babies might not have lungs that are ready to breathe on their own. The air sacs might not fully open in the lungs and take in enough oxygen for the baby. To try and compensate for this, the baby may begin to breathe more rapidly. Parents or medical staff may notice that baby's nose is flaring while breathing. This is baby's way to try and get more air to make up for the deficiency. Delivery of multiples, diabetes in mom, lack of oxygen during labor, cesarean or induction or rapid delivery all make it more likely that baby will develop RDS. Some signs that baby is suffering from RDS include rapid or shallow breathing, short stops in breathing, bluish color, decreased urine output, grunting while breathing or unusual breathing movements. Doctors may give baby oxygen to increase blood oxygen levels or surfactant to help open airways. Once the condition is handled, the baby will be much happier as it will be able to breathe much more efficiently.
4 Heart Defects
It may be surprising but congenital heart defects are relatively common in newborn babies. According to Kids Health, 1 in ever 100 newborns in the United States have a cognitive heart defect. Congenital means the defect is present at birth.
The defect can be treated with surgery, catheter procedures and sometimes medication. Almost all heart defects can be treated and can expect positive outcomes from the treatment.
Much of the heart development takes place in the early weeks of pregnancy. Between about four weeks and nine weeks, most of the heart develops. This means that a mix of genetic and environmental factors work together to cause heart defects in newborn children. At four weeks, many moms don't yet know that they're pregnant yet. Medications mom might be on could have adverse effects on the development of the heart. Medicines like lithium salts for bipolar, anticonvulsant medicines or some skin medications can have adverse effects on the development of the heart. Uncontrolled diabetes, drug and alcohol use and some industrial chemicals can interfere with healthy heart development too. Not all heart defects require treatment while more severe issues can send the baby to heart surgery before their first birthday. Babies with heart defects could have problems with lung congestion or get enough oxygen to the body.
3 Can’t Control Body Heat
Sometimes babies have a challenging time controlling their body heat. Their bodies are smaller, yet the surface area of their body is three times larger than an adult's compared with the weight of their body. This presents a difficult situation for the body to keep up with possibly rapid heat loss.
Premature and underweight babies have the most challenges maintaining body heat. These babies usually don't have the protective fat layers that babies typically gain in the last weeks of pregnancy.
Those extra pounds help baby to keep more heat in. When a baby struggles to maintain body heat, they're also going to fight to be happy for a while. They may need extra blankets or a warming light to help manage their temperature. Staying close to mom can also help them to maintain temperature. Mom's body will also work to slightly lower or raise its temperature to adjust to the needs of the baby during skin to skin contact. This can be a built-in, natural defense for body heat issues with baby. Drying the baby right after birth can help to keep baby's body temperature at the right level. If other methods don't work, the baby might need to be placed in an incubator to help it maintain the correct temperature.
Macrosomia is the term given to big babies.Those babies born weighing more than 8 pounds 13 ounces are considered to have macrosomia. This condition can cause several different complications for baby and may make them unhappy. One of the significant concerns with macrosomia is a more difficult birth.
The larger the baby grows, the more challenges there are for that baby to pass through the birth canal.
More complications arise when baby tips the scale at 9 pounds 15 ounces or more. Baby is more likely to develop macrosomia if mom is overweight or has gestational diabetes if there's excessive weight gain or the baby is a boy. Mom's age might be a factor in how big the baby is too. Women over the age of 35 are more likely to have a baby with macrosomia. The difficult delivery of a baby with macrosomia may cause mom to be unhappy too. Deliveries of this type are more likely to cause lacerations, labor problems, and even uterine rupture. A newborn with the condition may have issues with low blood sugar after birth. Later in life, the child might experience childhood obesity and even metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can happen during childhood and is a cluster of issues including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels according to the Mayo Clinic. The combination of these health issues can increase the child's likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in their lifetime.
1 Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a condition that can cause the baby to be born unhappy because of severe tummy troubles. NEC develops in the lining of the intestine. An infection affects the inner lining of the interesting but in more severe cases a hole can form in the gut and allow the infection to spread throughout the body. This condition usually develops in the first two weeks of life. It is most common in premature babies but can also happen with full-term infants. Parents might suspect something is wrong with baby's intestines if they notice swelling, bloating, or discoloration of the abdomen, bloody stool, diarrhea, poor feeding or vomiting. The baby can also show other signs that indicate an infection like lethargy, fever or disrupted breathing. Doctors aren't sure of the exact causes of NEC, but a lack of oxygen during delivery could be a contributing factor. The lack of oxygen and blood flow can negatively affect the intestine and make it weaker and an easier target for bacteria. Premature babies could be more at risk because of their underdeveloped bodies. The course of treatment for NEC depends on the specific case. Babies with NEC might have to have surgery to remove part of the intestines.