Haemophilia in Babies: What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Haemophilia in Babies: What Are the Signs and Symptoms - motherhooddiaries

*This post was created in collaboration with Phamax*

Haemophilia is an inherited blood disorder that impairs the blood’s ability to clot. Someone with haemophilia won’t have the clotting factors of an average person and, as such, cuts and scrapes will bleed for far longer than usual. The symptoms associated with this condition can be mild, or they can be severe, but it is important for new parents to be aware of the warning signs of haemophilia, so they will know when to seek urgent medical attention.

Most individuals with haemophilia are diagnosed at an early age, usually by the age of two. However, mild cases might not be diagnosed until adulthood. You might wonder how haemophilia could ever go undetected. After all, if it is inherited from our parents, wouldn’t we all get tested at birth? The fact of the matter is, in some cases, haemophilia might appear to surface out of nowhere.

It may be that the family had forgotten, or may not have known, about ancestors with haemophilia. It is also possible that the gene for haemophilia had been carried by females for generations without presenting itself, as women rarely demonstrate the symptoms of the disorder. The condition might also, on rare occurrences, present itself out of nowhere as a spontaneous genetic mutation. This is the case for roughly 30% of haemophilia cases.  

Whatever the case, the prospect of haemophilia is likely to be terrifying to a new parent. We all want the best for our children and, though the idea of your loved one having haemophilia might be concerning, it’s important not to fret. The condition is manageable and your child will most likely go on to live a completely normal, happy life. What is important is that haemophilia is detected at an early age.

Below are a few signs and symptoms of the rare disease to keep an eye out for.

Prolonged bleeding after circumcision

Although circumcision is not common across Europe, if you decide to circumcise your son for religious purposes, this might very well be the first indication of haemophilia in a newborn. Your baby might experience extreme bleeding at this point and it is essential that you obtain medical assistance as soon as possible.

Bleeding relating to teething

Parents of haemophiliac babies have to deal with more than screams and late nights. Baby teeth can be very sharp and infants tend to bite their gums and tongue. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, this can certainly be a sign of haemophilia.

Excessive bruising following falls and bumps

Babies are adventurous and inquisitive. It’s hard to raise one without them experiencing a number of lumps and bumps. Bruises are to be expected, but keep an eye out for extreme bruising, or what is known as ‘bleeding into joints‘. The bruises will usually be a deep purple, swollen and cause your toddler a lot of discomforts. Pay special attention to the ankles, elbows and knees.

Unusual bleeding after vaccinations

To keep your baby happy and healthy, vaccinations are a necessary part of life — and they’re usually forgotten ten minutes after the event. If, however, you notice unusual bleeding after a vaccination that won’t let up, contact a doctor and he or she will help you get to the bottom of the matter.

Unexplained nosebleeds

If you’ve noticed your baby or toddler often experiences unexplained nosebleeds that last longer than ten minutes, this could be a sign of haemophilia. It’s not something to be overly concerned about and, more than likely, your child won’t be experiencing any pain.

Blood in urine

This might be one of the scariest haemophilia signs for a new mother or father to witness. But haematuria (blood in the urine) is a fairly common symptom of haemophilia, with 66% of haemophiliacs claiming they have experienced it at some point.

Emergency symptoms of haemophilia

Once you have had your baby diagnosed with haemophilia, you should keep an eye out for the following symptoms. If you witness them, get in touch with a medical professional as soon as possible. Although no bleeding may be visible, there might be some internal bleeding causing the following issues:

  • Double vision
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Prolonged headaches
  • Constant vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Confusion, or a similar change in mental state
  • Slurred speech, or other speaking difficulties
  • A loss of balance
  • Facial paralysis

How is haemophilia detected?

A haemophilia diagnosis will begin with your doctor asking questions about your child, his or her health and your family history. Your child will then have to give a blood sample for testing. This test will look at how your child’s clotting factors are missing or at low levels. You should be prepared for a number of tests over time, so your doctor will be able to monitor change in your child’s platelet levels, among other factors. On top of determining severity, a blood test will also be able to identify whether your child has haemophilia A or B.

This might be a challenging time for your family, but eventually, you will become accustomed to the diagnosis and certain adaptations will become second nature. Remember: your child isn’t alone. Though the condition is certainly rare, there are 400,000 people worldwide living with haemophilia. The best thing you can do for your baby at this time is to learn as much as you possibly can about this rare blood disorder. You’ll eventually gain confidence in managing the condition and you’ll realise there is nothing to stop your baby from growing up and being happy, healthy and successful.

Haemophilia in Babies What Are the Signs and Symptoms - www.motherhooddiaries.com

*This post was created in collaboration with Phamax*

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Leyla Preston (495 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/

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