Assessing the health of the new baby start right away. One of the first checks is the Apgar test. The Apgar test is a scoring system to evaluate the condition of the newborn at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. The midwife will evaluate these signs and give a point value:
A stands for Activity; muscle tone.
P stands for Pulse rate.
G stands for Grimace; reflex irritability.
A stands for Appearance; skin color.
R stands for Respiration.
A score of 7 to 10 is normal, A score of 4 to 6 means the baby needs extra attention by providing oxygen and warmth to help baby breath. A score of 3 or below means that the baby needs rescue breathing and lifesaving techniques.
A brief, physical exam is done to check for abnormal signs and confirm that the baby is healthy. After that skin to skin is continued and breastfeeding is established. After an hour later skin to skin is ended and baby is assessed properly. This is done in the lying- in ward or other room depending on the hospitals policy.
This is also know as the head-to-toe examinations.
-Baby's head is inspected for swelling and any other abnormalities.
-The eyes for discharges and yellow discoloration, nose for patency, mouth for extra teeth or tongue tie.
-Chest inspected for any abnormalities, breast for discharges. Neck for extra lymph nodes.
-Abdomen for swollen and cord for bleeding. Cord care is done afterwards. The baby's umbilical cord stump will have a clamp. It needs to be kept clean and dry.
-Arms and legs are assessed for it length and fingers and feet for extra digits.
-Genital are inspected for testicles descending and for ambiguous vagina.
-The back is inspected for spinal bifida.
-Baby temperature, heart rate, respiration rate is taken
-Babies weight, length and head circumference is also measured.
These measurements help find out if a baby's weight and measurements are normal for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Small or underweight babies and very large babies may need special attention and care.
-Once a baby's temperature has stabilized, the first bath can be given.
-Bacteria in the birth canal can infect a baby's eyes. Your baby will be given antibiotic or antiseptic eye drops or ointment either right after delivery or later in the nursery to prevent eye infection.
The above are the assessments baby's go through before the are discharged at the hospital for mothers to continue the care at home.