St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Hormonal effects in newborns

    Newborn breast swelling; Physiologic leukorrhea

    Hormonal effects in newborns occur because, while they are in the womb, babies are exposed to many chemicals (hormones) present in the mother's bloodstream. After birth, the infants are no longer exposed to these hormones. This exposure may cause temporary conditions in a newborn.

    Information

    Hormones from the mother (maternal hormones) are some of the chemicals that pass through the placenta into the baby's blood during pregnancy. These hormones can affect the baby.

    For example, pregnant women produce high levels of the hormone estrogen. This causes breast enlargement in the mother. By the third day after birth, breast swelling may also be seen in newborn boys and girls. Such newborn breast swelling does not last, but it is a common concern among new parents.

    The breast swelling should go away by the second week after birth as the hormones leave the newborn's body. Do not squeeze or massage the newborn's breasts because this can cause an infection under the skin (abscess).

    Hormones from the mother may also cause some fluid to leak from the infant's nipples. This is called witch's milk. It is common and usually goes away within 2 weeks.

    Newborn girls may also have temporary changes in the vaginal area.

    • The skin tissue around the vaginal area, called the labia, may look puffy as a result of estrogen exposure.
    • There may be a white fluid (discharge) from the vagina. This is called physiologic leukorrhea.
    • There may also be a small amount of bleeding from the vagina.

    These changes are common and should slowly go away over the first 2 months of life.

    References

    In: Kliegman RM,Behrman RE, Jenson HB,Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbookof Pediatrics.19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap XX.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Hormonal effects in newb...

      illustration

      • Hormonal effects in newb...

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Tests for Hormonal effects in newborns

          Review Date: 2/21/2013

          Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile