Assessment Of Newborns

A number of techniques help you assess the developmental level of newborns. These techniques are often part of a limited-screening pediatric physical examination performed immediately after birth.

Immediate Assessment at Birth: Adaptation to Extrauterine

Life. Examining newborns immediately after birth is important for determining the general condition, developmental status, abnormalities in gesta-tional development, and presence of congenital abnormalities. The examination may reveal diseases of cardiac, respiratory, or neurologic origin. Listen to the anterior thorax with your stethoscope, palpate the abdomen, and inspect the head, face, oral cavity, extremities, genitalia, and perineum.

Apgar Score. The Apgar score is the key initial assessment of the baby immediately after birth. It contains five components for classifying the newborn's neurologic recovery from the birth process and immediate adaptation to extrauterine life. Score each newborn according to the following table, at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. Scoring is based on a 3-point scale (0, 1, or 2) for each component. Total scores may range from 0 to 10. Scoring may continue at 5-minute intervals until the score is greater than 7. If the 5-minute Apgar score is 8 or more, proceed to a more complete examination.

The Apgar Scoring System

Assigned Score

Clinical Sign

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Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.

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