Genitals

In girls the labia minora are swollen for 2 or 3 days after birth. There may be a whitish deposit between the lips of the vulva. Don’t clean it off – it is excellent protection against bacteria.

During the first week, a few drops of blood may drip from the vagina. Don’t worry; this mini-menstruation is caused by extra hormones coming from the mother before birth.

In full-term boys, the testicles have usually descended into the scrotum, which is purplish red. If they haven’t, tell the doctor. The foreskin is the skin covering the head of the penis. Don’t try to force this skin to move. It would be painful and might injure your child. Leave it to nature – in 90% of boys it will dilate and descend naturally at about 3 years old. In only a few cases, this won’t happen until adolescence. Circumcision is an operation in which all or part of the foreskin is removed. It is not recommended because it serves no purpose. Some parents call for circumcision for religious or cultural reasons.