Newborn Photo Gallery

This is a really cool website, with pictures of babies with various conditions (and some who are completely normal, for comparison). Divided into various categories like ears, eyes, nose, mouth, etc., it covers lots of different problems, benign conditions, and “variations of normal” which are not problems at all. Some of the pictures were difficult for me to look at (particularly the pictures of the eyes, because I can practically start crying just by looking at someone else’s infected eye — my eyes don’t have to hurt at all and I’ll start sympathetically tearing up; or the pictures of the babies crying, which made me want to comfort them), but for the most part, they have been just interesting clinical pictures.

I discovered a new term — ear pits. I’d never heard that term before, but both my children have one, in exactly the same place on the back edge of the ear. It basically looks like a pock mark — a tiny depression like where a deep scab or a chicken pock had been.

And there were reminders of how awful and awesome genetics is. For instance, in the picture of the baby with the very low-set ears, it was discovered that he had Trisomy 18. Most babies with low-set ears do have some sort of genetic problem, such as Trisomy 18 or Down Syndrome.  There were another condition in which it was noted that although the baby had X characteristic, tests ruled out any renal problem. I forget what it was — something about his ears, I think — signified a higher risk of a problem with the kidneys. One might think that the ears would have nothing to do with the kidneys, but I would suspect (knowing what [little] I know of genetics) that the genes that control the development of the kidneys are in close proximity to the genes that control the development of the ears. There were a few other statements like that (and I’m only up to the “neck/clavicles” pictures), in which a physical finding was related to a higher risk of some internal problem. Which is interesting, to say the least.

h/t Diana at Birth at Home in Arizona

Update — one of my readers pointed out that there is a section on circumcision on this website, which includes pictures of babies for whom circumcision is contraindicated and when there is no medical contraindication. It points out,

Though widely practiced in various parts of the world, circumcision remains a controversial issue, with passionate feelings on both sides.  The AAP has a policy of “neutrality” on the issue, and many physicians agree that both the medical risks and benefits of the procedure are small, so usually the decision is made by the family for reasons that are culturally, religiously, or emotionally based.

So, in other words, it’s a medical procedure done for non-medical reasons, and may actually cause many medical problems, including losing the tip of the penis and even rarely death. There are videos of babies undergoing circumcision using three different methods, but I cannot watch any of them.

7 Responses

  1. Very interesting site. My neice had hypotonia, and nothing has come of the finding (not a genetic disorder that we know of). She recieved therapy and is doing fine…

  2. The ears and kidneys of a fetus develop at the same time, so a problem with the ears is a signal to check if the kidneys formed properly.

    • Ok, that makes sense. An acquaintance of mine is a geneticist, and he’s mentioned stuff (as well as lay article I’ve read about genetics and epigenetics — simply fascinating!) about some genes being linked — that they seem to be passed on in pairs or groups; and other stuff about genes that are next to each other influencing each other, which made me think that perhaps that was the cause.

  3. The other interesting aspect of the website was the circumcision information and films of actual circumcisions. These would be great to pass along to individuals interested in what actually takes place during this procedure.

  4. my daughter who is close to three months has one of her ears low=set and curved more outward as compared to the other one. I am 38 years now, so I guess, she does fall in high risk for congenital defects. All her prenatal tests were normal and she is otherwise normal and doing just fine. Any comments?

    • I would keep a look-out for any signs or symptoms of any possible developmental delays, and mention it to your/her doctor to see if it’s concerning. It may just be “one of those things” — one half of your face does not match up perfectly with the other half of your face, due to the way you develop before birth, so it may just be a “non-matching” thing like that and not associated with anything genetic. However, it may be; and early intervention with these sorts of things seems to reduce delays associated with chromosomal problems. I have also read that nutrition therapy of one form or another may be beneficial in also reducing any developmental delays or other physical and mental challenges. Since you have these questions, it would be good to know for sure.

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