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Dr Reign points out 3 pregnancy habits that cause excess mucus in newborns

Dr Reign candidly explains the link between some pregnancy habits & acute life-threatening events like excess mucus in infants

Dr Reign Mwendwa

Life-threatening events in infants, also known as acute life-threatening events (ALTE), are incidents where infants experience sudden and severe distress or physiological instability that puts their lives at risk.

Whether it's an accumulation of mucus, a fall resulting in injury, or a choking incident, each event carries the potential to immediately endanger the well-being of the infant.

These events are characterized by symptoms such as apnea (temporary cessation of breathing), colour change (turning pale or blue), choking or gagging, or extreme limpness or rigidity.

Although the events are not as common, the few reported cases show that they can be very dangerous to the infant.

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Carolina Carlz, a well-known content creator, recently shared a harrowing experience involving her infant child.

Carolina's child who was only 5 days old during the event, started overproducing mucus and in under 10 minutes, he was limply lying on her hands and struggling to breath.

According to the distraught mother, even after trying to suck out the mucus with her mouth, it was still endless, until they got the hospital.

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It's perfectly healthy for your baby to have mucus in their nose, mouth, and throat — even lots of it, sometimes.

However, you have to be worried when it blocks them from feeding, breathing or sleeping.

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According to a renowned pediatrician Bryan Mwendwa popularly known as Dr Reign, this happens to infants because they are very vulnerable.

"Basically what happens is our bodies are designed to protect us. For example, if you are sleeping, and you get obstructed, or you have a blocked nose, then there is a mechanism in the body that will wake you up.

"For these infants what happens is that some of these protective measures are not fully developed or as strong in older children. That's why in most cases you'll find that the baby was breastfeeding and because they don't have good reflexes, the milk can go the wrong way," Dr Reign said.

According to Dr Reign, while acute life-threatening events in infants are not common, certain factors during pregnancy can increase the risk of such incidents occurring more frequently.

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  • Smoking - One of the factors that can contribute to a higher risk is maternal smoking during pregnancy.
  • Alcohol - Mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy put their babies at risk when they are born.
  • Certain drugs - Taking certain drugs during pregnancy may also increase likelihood of infants experiencing acute life-threatening events

Acute life-threatening events can have severe consequences if not addressed promptly. A prolonged lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage and, in the worst cases, result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

However, with timely medical intervention and appropriate treatment, the chances of complications can be minimized.

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"The body lacks oxygen and then the body starts turning blue, and if this is prolonged and you don't reverse it on time, then it can lead to brain death and eventually death via what we call aspiration," he said.

Parents should be vigilant and recognize potential signs and symptoms of acute life-threatening events. These may include,

  • Excess mucus
  • Turning blue
  • Gasping for breath
  • Limply lying
  • Struggling to breathe

Dr Reign emphasized the importance of seeking immediate medical assistance if any of these signs are observed.

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Time is crucial in these situations, and prompt intervention can significantly impact the outcome.

Dr. Reign explained that the recovery process varies depending on various things such as the individual baby's health records and the effectiveness of medical intervention.

"When it comes to emergency in medicine we always say time is brain. so the quicker you get medical intervention, the better the outcome. The recovery process is also dependent on how good the medical intervention was, and the child's immunity

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"Every baby is different. The pregnancy, the way they grow up will be different. There will be similarities but they wont be uniform. If this baby have an underlying condition then probably it could be worse," Dr Reign noted.

While immediate medical intervention is crucial in acute life-threatening events, Dr. Reign stressed the importance of basic knowledge and first aid training for parents and caregivers.

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Here are 4 major quick remedies he said might aid the child before going to the hospital

  • Increase knowledge - Knowing what to do when the baby experiences this event. Learn or teach your caregiver or household what to do when the baby has certain conditions such as blocked airways.
  • Basic first aid training - For example, understand what to do when your baby is starting to converge, choking or having amnesia. What position do you need to put him.
  • Know how to shout for help - Keep emergency contact numbers, clearly understand the nearest medical facilities, such as hospitals or urgent care centers, and familiarize yourself with the process of relaying information to emergency operators, including the baby's condition and location.
  • Bottom line, make sure you go to the hospital.

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