ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Is A Baby Blue When Born?

Updated on July 28, 2014
Why Is A Baby Blue When It Is Born?
Why Is A Baby Blue When It Is Born?

Why Is A Baby Blue At Birth?

Babies are born all different shapes and sizes, covered in differing amounts of blood and coated in vernix caseosa, a white substance which is said to act as an antibacterial barrier.

Newborns are not always born with perfect skin and may have birth marks, cylindrical head shapes and even be born blue. Their brand-new skin is delicate and thin and their veins are more easily seen.

Whilst most babies are pinkish, others are not. The blue color we see can be frightening and in some cases it is cause for concern. In other instances, it is a momentarily phase common with birth.

So why is a baby blue at birth?

What Is A Blue Baby Called?

There are two very different reasons why babies can be born blue, and each with a different name and cause for concern.

A blue baby can be called a cyanotic baby. There are a few different things that can cause cyanosis in newborns, however prominently it is a congenital heart defect. This is a true "blue baby". This is a serious condition.

In is not uncommon to have a baby born with blue extremities. This is typically completely benign and is known as acrocyanosis.

Blue Baby At Birth - Cyanotic

If a baby is born with a blue appearance, considered cyanotic and not crying, these are signs of respiratory or cardiac distress. In these instances, the baby's heart is not pumping blood efficiently enough and the baby isn't getting enough oxygen. This will cause the baby to appear blue as de-oxygenated blood is a much darker, almost purple colour than blood with oxygen.

Blue Baby At Birth - Acrocyanosis

Babies receive their blood supply through their mother via the placenta. After being born, even though the baby's heart has taken over circulation, the umbilical cord is still pulsating because it is still receiving the very last little bit of blood from the mother.

Normal, healthy, babies are born pink and screaming however some are born more purple than others because there is some minor oxygen deprivation, usually due to the difficulties they may have experienced crowning, their position and even because of them having the umbilical cord around their neck. These are all temporary issues which are resolved almost instantaneously and once the oxygen returns the baby's blood returns to red and their skin returns to a pink color.

Babies Born With Blue Eyes

Are all babies born with blue eyes? And do you know when babies eyes change color?

Why Are Babies Blue - Myths And Facts

Myth: Babies are born blue because their blood is blue.

Fact: Blood is never blue. Blood is always red, sometimes a different shade of red depending on the oxygen levels present, but always red. Often it is shown in diagrams as being blue to symbolize the un-oxygenated blood which is really a dark red almost purple in color. Veins take on the appearance of being blue because of the way our eyes perceive color and the way light reflects.

Delayed Cord Clamping

The delayed cord clamping discussion is one worth having. Just because a baby is breathing on its own does not mean that they are essentially getting 100% of the oxygen they need. Having the placenta still attached to pump oxygenated blood to the newborn is said to help the baby significantly and they in turn tend to pink up far more quickly than those whose cord is cut immediately.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 

      5 years ago from India

      Very informative hub. You have written everything so clearly. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)