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Birthmarks – Beastly or Beautiful?

BBwas not the beautiful looking baby you would expect when he was born. This sounds horrible as his mother and of course I thought he was perfect but it had been traumatic labour resulting in a forceps delivery and he looked like he had been in ten rounds with Mike Tyson he was so battered and bruised.

Look at the forceps marks! Poor little bruised boy!
We took him home a few days later but it was a good week before the bruising started to fade. It was at this point I noticed what looked like a little sore patch on the top of his lip. I thought I had caught him with a fingernail or something and was torturing myself over being a terrible mother only a week in. However by the end of this week it was redder and bigger and within another week it looked like a blood blister. I had been applying Sudocrem up to this point. I then noticed that the same thing was starting to developed on his tummy. I was worried but the health visitor was coming the next day so I waited until then. The health visitor told me it was a Strawberry Mark or capillary haemangioma as it is known medically. This is a birth mark that about 1 in 10 babies develop within one month following birth. It is raised blood capillaries that appear on the surface of the skin, anywhere on the body and they still don’t know what causes them.
1 week old – can you see the sore patch above the right side of his lip?
They are called a strawberry mark simply because that is in fact what they look like in shape and texture. I didn’t know much about them and was so worried that my son would be permanently scarred and be subjected to horrid comments and perhaps bullying. Childhood can be a cruel place. However I was told that they very rarely need any treatment and that 3 out of 10 birth marks are gone by the time the child is three and 7 out of 10 by the time the child is seven. This however at the time did not really ease my mind.
1 month old – quite obvious now!

Over the next six months they grew and became redder and more raised. The birthmark on his face was the size of a 10p piece and the one on his tummy slightly larger. I was very proud of my baby but people could be very rude or ignorant, and maybe before experiencing this I may have been guilty of it but they would stop and say ‘What have you been doing to your baby? Has mummy been hurting you again?’ or even better ‘Mummy really needs to give your little face a wipe doesn’t she?’  Then once going through the explanation that it is indeed a birthmark, no it can’t be removed and yes it will go away, I would get comments like ‘But he would be so handsome without it. What a shame.’ I would have to walk away with gritted teeth ensuring them that he is handsome to me and that I would still think this even if it did not go away!

At it’s peak!

We as a family just got used to it. It became a part of him, a quirky feature and I loved him all the more for it.

When my son hit 18 months we started to notice that the one on his tummy was going white. Over the course of the next year the same happened to the one on his face and they both started to get smaller, like they were dissolving. My son is now 2 years and 10 months and they have both practically vanished. You can see where they were a little bit, if you look closely and he has a few thread veins visible which might never go. It really changed the look of his face. It seemed strange but I felt a little sad that it had gone. All of a sudden he seemed more grown up. Again we have totally got used to him without one. But to us our children are beautiful regardless.

We wondered when we had the twins whether they would have any birth marks – again both were born perfect, but Chilled out boy within two weeks developed one on his nipple which is still very apparent. Little Madam doesn’t have one. This time I was not concerned at all. It will go in its own time.

You would never know a birthmark had ever been there!
Strawberry Marks are only one type of birthmark. Each type of birthmark varies in colour and size and some fade as the child gets older and some are permanent. Most birthmarks tend to be harmless but some do require treatment whether that is for medical or cosmetic reasons. I found a support in the Birthmark support group who are happy to answer any questions. So please don’t worry or be afraid. Please don’t let people perceive your child as beastly. They are beautiful. A personal marking that makes up who they are. Sometime the imperfections are the things that make our beauty.
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16 comments to Birthmarks – Beastly or Beautiful?

  • Kylie

    Beautiful post.

    My son was born at the other end of the spectrum, at 27 weeks, and he looked like a purple skinned rat!

    At about six weeks his birthmark appeared on his cheek, at first we thought it was a scar from the breathing tube clip!

    I love his birthmark, and I call it his kiss mark, as its right on the chubbiest part of his cheek! He is almost 2 and its fading, so I think it will go soon.

    I had had one more like your son's on my forehead, a proper strawberry one, but it disappeared so I guess I was quite relaxed about birthmarks!

  • TheBoyandMe

    I looked at that photo and the first thing I thought was 'oh, The Boy had the same cardi'! He was and is gorgeous regardless and because of any of his features.

  • Frankie P

    Both my husband (arm) and youngest sons (leg) have birth marks which will never fade. But its just one of the little things about them that makes them unique.

  • Elizabeth aka Mommatwo

    I might be unusual but I rather like birthmarks – I think they add a certain something, mystery perhaps, and I think your gorgeous, smiling boy looks just scrumptious with his by his mouth – it looks like a big kiss and makes me want to kiss him! He is, of course, equally scrummy without! What a handsome big boy!

  • HELEN

    Noah is gorgeous both with & without the birthmark. Mine don't have birthmarks like that but they do have odd pigmented skin, more noticeable in the summer.Sam looks like he hasn't washed, Jack has a straight line down the back of his neck, white on one side,brown on the other & Hanna has white patches in various places including a white streak in her hair & different coloured eyes, we're not sure if the patches will get more noticeable in the future but we'll wait & see – the eyes definitely add to Hanna's character.

  • Mummy and the Beastie

    How can they ever be described as Beastly! I do feel so very so for children when they have very large marks on their faces for when they grow older and other children not understanding.

    Beastie had a big stork mark on his forehead when he was born and marks on the back of his head, now you can hardly see them. When he is angry/upset the stork goes pink! so it's a good indicator. I once had a woman approach me and look at him and say both her husband and daughter have them and she knew when they were very angry!

    xx

  • justine

    He is one cute little boy! lots of my friends kids have had birth marks and I think although I notice them I just look past them.
    I have a mole on my face, I always like to think of it as a beauty spot just hoping i dont get lots of big hairs hanging out of it when I am older lol

  • multiplemummy

    I just love the phrase 'kiss mark.' It really does just sum birthmarks up perfectly. I am so pleased you all feel the same way as me; it is frightening when you child develops something on their face and we are so aware of the cruelty of people that we don't want them ever to suffer but I hope this reassure people that they are not the end of the world and only add to character. x

  • northernmum

    all i see is beautiful kids!

  • Anonymous

    I am glad I found your blog, because my son was born with a very dark cafe au lait birthmark on his cheek a little smaller than a dime…so on a baby's tiny cheek, it's very noticeable. Our older 2 children were born without any, so we were surprised when he made his appearance. I must admit that bullying and what other people would say did worry me a lot the 1st few weeks after he was born. One nurse even had the gall to say to him "oh you poor thing" when she saw his face. It made me somewhat defensive for him. He is now 2 months old, and has the most adorable face and smile…and as for his mark, well I have come to love that as part of his charm…I couldn't imagine his face without it, although it has lightened considerably since birth.

  • Watch Beastly Online Free

    Too small to be called a beastly mark….

  • northernmum

    all i see is beautiful kids!

  • Tracy Nixon

    Ahhh bless! My surviving triplet had a strawberry birth mark on his neck – it was quite big, red and swollen until he was about three months old and left hospital. It gradually got smaller and ligter until it disappeared at the age of 4!

    My 3 other children have no birth marks but I have a one that looks like a light bruise on my hip bone. Luckily it is hardly noticable and has never bothered me.

    Your children are lovely! I think mum’s should not worry too much over birth marks – as long as their babies are ok that should be all that matters. My two triplets died in my arms at 2 days and 42 days old – our surviving son (with the birthmark) could have had a birth mark that covered his whole body and it wouldn’t have mattered to me at the time – his survival was all I cared about and I look back and think it was the kiss of an Angel – to give me hope!

    • So moving, and I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy and i cannot begin to imagine how you coped. The phrase kiss of an angel has filled me with so much joy. I love that term. Thank you kindly for sharing. xx

  • My daughter had a strawberry mark appear on her head and I was horrified at the time. But like your little one you can see no sign it was ever there. It did not worry me at all once I got used to it and to me she was still beautiful x

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