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Sunday, January 21, 2018
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Scary Baby Symptoms That Are Actually Normal

Mason Richard Sieng PhotoCredit: Auntie Kristi Westphaln

Mason Richard Sieng
PhotoCredit: Auntie Kristi Westphaln

A three week old baby boy with persistent nasal congestion since birth, but otherwise seems fine. A four-day old female who appears to have swollen breasts and she had a small smear of bloody discharge in her diaper. A two-month old baby girl who hasn’t had a bowel movement in six days. A seven-month old male who seems to be turning orange. A one month old female who spit up a small amount of blood after breastfeeding. Normal or not?

Decoding baby sounds and behaviors can be both challenging and scary. Parents want to ensure the health of their baby, but can often get lost in translation. The nonspecific cries, coos, gurgles, and poos don’t clearly communicate how a baby is feeling; this can be especially anxiety provoking when parents are trying to decipher if a particular baby symptom is normal or if it warrants a visit to a pediatric healthcare provider or emergency room.

Babies are not simply “little adults.” The differences in their body systems help to explain many common baby behaviors that are concerning to parents.

In order to further explore the science behind scary baby symptoms and help parents to better understand their babies, Senior Fellow Kristi Westphaln interviews emergency department pediatrician and baby science blogger, Dr. Wendy Hunter. Dr. Hunter debunks common baby myths, brings baby science alive, and decodes scary baby symptoms that are actually normal.

Auntie/Senior Fellow Kristi Westphaln is pleased to announce the birth of her first nephew, Mason Richard Sieng.

Congratulations to Karri, Tom, and all of the amazing parents who continue to work on speaking “baby.”

There are three ways to access the show: 1. Tune in at 1:00pm on Thursday to WBAI radio, 99.5 FM & streamed at 2. Download the show for free from iTunes 3. listen to the podcast now below.

Written by

Kristi Westphaln, MSN, RN, PNP-PC, is a San Diego-based pediatric nurse practitioner with a passion for all things pediatric. She has been in the nursing profession for 15 years, with 11 years of PNP expertise in the areas of pediatric primary care, pediatric emergency health care, pediatric trauma and child abuse. Ms. Westphaln will be producing for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement a series of elementary school-based health education podcasts and will continue her work in radio with “HealthCetera.” She currently serves as the legislative/health policy chair for the San Diego chapters of the National Association of Pediatric Nurses (NAPNAP) and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, and she was recently honored as a 2017 National NAPNAP Advocacy Scholar. She anticipates completing her PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego in May 2018 and aspires to pursue post-doctoral education in the pediatric health policy research arena. Her research interests include child health promotion, social capital, health care access and use, home visitation and health disparities/social justice.

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