Breasts & genitals

Your baby’s breasts and genitals are very delicate, so take care when cleaning. You will also notice changes with your baby’s genitals and breasts while they are growing.


Newborn girls have hormone changes after birth. Their breasts may swell and may leak a few drops of milk. A slight bloodstained vaginal discharge may occur. This doesn’t require any special care. It’s caused by hormone changes after birth.


Newborn boys also have hormone changes. Their breasts may swell. Occasionally newborn boys’ testicles (balls) don’t come down into the scrotum (sack). They may also appear to be very large due to fluid in the scrotum. This is called a hydrocoele and will disappear eventually.

If the scrotum is red or blue and the baby is uncomfortable, see the doctor urgently. These are signs that a testicle may be twisted.

If your baby’s testicles haven’t come down (descended), or if you’re worried about their breasts swelling, discuss this with your doctor or Plunket nurse.

How do I care for my baby’s penis?

Normal washing in the bath is enough for the skin at the end of the penis (the foreskin). It doesn’t need any special care. Don’t force or pull the foreskin back.

It may be able to be pulled back by 3–5 years, but often boys can’t do this until puberty. This is quite normal.

You need to see your doctor if you notice that your baby boy’s:

  • urine stream (flow) is weak, dribbles, or stops and starts

  • foreskin is swollen when he wees and it balloons out

  • foreskin has pus or blood coming

An interesting link from Plunket
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