Why Are My Nipples Purple
We’ve all heard about the size of the new baby elephant growing inside his mommy — but have you ever thought about what would happen if that same massive creature were born into this world at a much smaller scale? What if it was the tiniest newborn on the planet? That’s exactly what happens when we talk about human breast development. We can’t help comparing our bodies to other animals’. So let’s compare babies’ feet.
If your child is walking around in shoes, then she probably doesn’t know how big her baby-toes are right now. But imagine that you took those little toes and stretched them out until they were longer than your fingers! If you do that, you’d be able to hold two baseballs between them without bending over. And while you’re thinking about it, why don’t you start stretching your baby-fingers out too? You could stretch them so long that you’d be able to reach up and touch your nose with them. Now imagine having only one finger per hand instead of five. How small does that make your hands look?
How big are your baby-nipples when compared to an adult pair? The average woman has four pairs of breasts, each made up of milk glands and ducts. Each breast consists of multiple lobules (milk production centers) which are connected by ducts that extend downward from the nipple. These lobules contain fat cells, connective tissue, lymphatic tissue, blood vessels and nerves. When you nurse, these ducts fill up with milk and the lactiferous sinuses surrounding them release the fluid through narrow openings called ostia. The secretions travel down the ducts toward the nipples where the milk is collected in the form of nuggets of cream under the skin. Once released, the cream drains through the ostia, leaving behind just empty space.
Now consider how different your baby’s tiny toes and fingers look when compared to yours. Think of how quickly your baby grows during pregnancy. She develops more rapidly than any other organ in your body because it grows so much faster. It takes nine months for your baby to grow from conception to birth, but it only takes three weeks for a fetus to develop from fertilization to full term. In comparison, the length of time it takes for a person to mature physically from childhood to adulthood is typically 20 years.
In addition, your baby isn’t fully developed when he’s born. He’ll continue developing throughout his life; however, the majority of growth occurs during fetal development. Your baby’s brain will double in weight from birth to puberty and triple its volume by age 18. His lungs will increase in capacity by 40 percent, allowing him to breathe better than anyone else on earth. For example, consider how large your lungs are compared to those of someone who is six feet tall.
As your baby grows, her breasts change shape and size. During pregnancy, the body produces greater amounts of estrogen, which causes the mammary gland to enlarge. This results in larger cup sizes and fuller breasts. As the nursing period comes to a close, hormones cause the breasts to shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size. However, the size of the nipples remains constant since they aren’t attached to anything.
It’s normal for women’s nipples to darken slightly after giving birth to a baby. The color changes due to increased pigmentation, not bruising or clots. This often happens within hours of delivery, although some women report that it may take several days to occur. A sudden change in color might indicate infection, poor hygiene or damage caused by something like lanolin (a substance found in wool or butter).
A common misconception is that breastfeeding decreases the amount of milk a woman produces. Although a few studies show that this is true, most research indicates that breastfeeding actually increases the quantity of milk a woman makes. Additionally, many mothers find that breastfeeding helps prevent soreness and engorgement associated with nursing.
So next time you see your baby sucking away on a bottle or on Mom’s chest, remember that it’s quite possible that her baby-teeth and -tongue are bigger than hers.
Learn more about baby health on the next page.
Baby Teething Basics
What to Do About Baby Pain
Baby Teething Basics
Your baby teethed for the first time sometime between 6 and 12 months old. During this time, teeth begin erupting from both upper and lower jaws. Your toddler will lose his baby teeth anywhere from 2 to 4 years of age. Some never fall out completely, but others may stay in place for up to 3 years.
All children go through teething at roughly the same rate. No matter whether your child is male or female, he should experience a tooth eruption approximately once every year. Children younger than 1 year old will still need some assistance getting their teeth ready for use. After the first year, your child will take care of his own dental needs.
Tooth eruptions usually last from seven days to two weeks, and symptoms include swollen gums, drooling, chewing on objects such as clothing or hair accessories, grinding teeth and frequent wiggling of the jaw.
While teething pain is inevitable, there are ways to alleviate discomfort. Read on to learn about soothing remedies.
Although teething itself is rarely painful, it can sometimes lead to temporary distress. Most infants will be comfortable enough to sleep through the entire episode, but some may exhibit signs of anxiety.
Here are some symptoms to watch for:
Loss of appetite
These symptoms generally disappear within a day or two. Infants get older, though, and will eventually require more control over teething pain. Continue reading to discover tips on relieving infant pain.
During teething, your child is likely to bite things constantly. To avoid injury, teach your child to chew quietly. Also, keep sharp objects, such as scissors, away from your child’s reach.
What to Do About Baby Pain
You can relieve some of your infant’s pain with simple techniques and products. Babies cry out for relief from pain and discomfort, especially during teething. Try using warm water to wash your child’s face and mouth. Gently pat your child dry with soft cloths. Don’t apply baby lotion or petroleum jelly directly to the face, as it may further irritate sensitive areas.
When dealing with teething pain, follow these steps:
Don’t give aspirin to infants or children under 36 months of age unless directed by your pediatrician. Aspirin interferes with teething and may result in severe gastrointestinal bleeding.
Take acetaminophen regularly as directed by your doctor. Never exceed recommended dosages.
Never leave your baby unattended with access to alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates.
Keep crib bumpers away from your bedding and furniture. Bumper cords can pull loose and present strangulation risks.
Avoid putting hot foods directly in your child’s mouth. Hot food can burn tender gums and inflame irritated gums.
Be careful with cold medications. Cold medicines may cause drowsiness and dizziness. Ask your pharmacist for information on the safe use of this medication.
Give nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for fever and pain relief. Be sure to consult your physician before taking NSAIDS for extended periods. These medications can cause stomach bleeds, kidney problems, liver failure and heart attack in adults.
For a teething gel, try numbing your child’s gums with a topical spray containing benzocaine or lidocaine hydrochloride. Check with your pediatrician first if you decide to use either product.
To avoid infections, be sure to practice good oral hygiene. Use a gentle cleanser and floss daily. Rinse thoroughly with warm water after brushing and flossing. Avoid sharing personal items such as razors or combs with your infant.
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