Why Newborn Girls Produce Vaginal Discharge, Breast Milk –Gynaecologists

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Gynaecologists have urged new mothers not to be alarmed if their newborn female children produce some vaginal discharge in the first few days of life.

According to them, though not all newborn females produce these discharges, it is a normal occurrence that should not cause any alarm.

The experts noted that a newborn girl may even produce breast milk, which is also known as neonatal or witch’s milk in the first few days of life.

They said this often happens within the first 10 days of the life of the girl and should not be seen as something to worry about.

They, however, warned that if the discharge persists, the parents must see a doctor.

The experts, Consultant Gynaecologists, Stanley Egbogu and Olufemi Samuel also stressed that if a newborn bleeds instead, it is cause for concern, adding that an expert must be seen immediately for medical intervention.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, Egbogu, a maternal care expert with the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, said such discharge is not found in male infants, adding that this is due to the low oestrogen content of males.

He said it is a normal occurrence that would resolve on its own without the need for medical intervention.

“When the mother comes, we reassure them,” he said

The Gynaecologist explained that the discharge occurs due to the baby’s exposure to the mother’s hormones while in the womb.

Explaining how exposure to the mother’s hormones in the womb causes this, Samuel, who is the Vice President, Nigerian Medical Association, Ondo State branch, said, “The cause of that is because the newborn baby was exposed to the mother’s hormones and because she was exposed to the mother’s hormones in the womb, the hormones can work on the genitals of the newborn baby and when they are given birth to, they start having some discharges.

“They can even have breast milk coming out which is known as witch’s baby milk but those things will abate on their own.

“It is just for the fact that the baby was exposed to the mother’s system so the baby may behave as a grown-up woman for some days after birth because she was exposed to a grown-up woman. Most of the time those things resolve.”

He also pointed out that there is no need to press hot water on the newborn girl’s chest as it can even stimulate lactation in the girl.

“In fact, the beast shouldn’t even be touched because if you continue stimulating it, the more you do that, the more the tendency for the infant’s breast to start producing milk,” he said.

On the colour of the discharge, raisingchildren.net.au, a parenting website, in an article said “It’s common for newborn baby girls to have bloody vaginal discharge in the first few weeks after birth. This is your baby’s response to maternal hormones, which are still in your baby’s body.”

Verywellfamily.com, a parenting site explaining why newborn girls produce discharge said during pregnancy, high levels of oestrogen and progesterone circulate in a mother’s body.

“These cross the placenta and reach the baby.

“This is totally normal and not harmful in any way. In fact, some of the hormones are necessary for the baby to develop correctly. When the girl is born, she loses the steady supply of hormones.

“In girls, the sudden absence of the high levels of oestrogen and progesterone they were used to during gestation triggers a response in their body that causes a white and sometimes bloody discharge,” it said.


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