Q: Hello doctor, my daughter have white substance in her private part I noticed it since when she is a week old and now she is two years old. Could she be having an infection?
A: Hello Mum! Thanks for writing in and being very observant!
Is it normal for a newborn baby to have vaginal discharge? Actually, yes it is. Baby girls may have clear, white, cloudy white or even bloody discharge after birth. This is as a result of your hormones that she was exposed to while in your womb. This is normal and should have disappeared by the time you go for your post-natal appointment.
Thereafter, the cause of the vaginal discharge can be a foreign body that got in there…a hair bead or even a bit of tissue left after cleaning up, for example. That is sufficient to cause significant discharge.
Other causes include:
§ Prolonged contact between skin in the genital area and faeces and/or urine
§ Other skin irritants like perfume, use of bubble bath and/or perfumed soap
§ Lack of cleanliness.
§ Bacterial infections
§ Other infections like measles
Poor personal hygiene is a common cause as children start to go to school and begin to take care of their hygiene themselves especially after using the bathroom. It is critical that our babies are taught to clean themselves properly by wiping from the front to the back. Please do some sort of spot check to ensure that they have cleaned thoroughly 😀
Is this discharge associated with itching? If so and the discharge is cheesy white and thick, it may be candidiasis. Please let the doctor confirm the diagnosis. He will take a detailed history and find out what exactly this discharge is or is not.
If it is due to candidiasis, it may be due immune system compromise by antibiotics and is also found in children diagnosed with diabetes.
To prevent this discharge, start by ensuring your baby wears loose cotton undies and do not give her antibiotics she does not need. As had been mentioned on this page before, all that is needed to wash your delicate inner self is clean water and clean hands. Teach her that. Ensure that your baby dries properly, especially the vulval area (pat dry) after a bath to prevent the build-up of fluid and warmth that encourages fungal growth. Discourage tight clothing and if anything, encourage her to wear skirts. Encourage her to also sleep without underwear at night as often as possible and if your home situation is conducive enough for it.
So, get her checked out by her pediatrician as soon as possible.
All the best.