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What is the Apgar Score?

Once your baby has been born the midwife or doctor will carry out some checks to make sure that everything is ok with your baby.

The Apgar score is a check which your midwife will do one minute after your baby is born and then she will repeat it five minutes after the birth too. The midwife simply looks at your baby and assesses baby's skin colour, breathing, heart rate, movements and also baby's crying.

The Apgar Score

Most mums and dads barely even notice that their midwife is doing the checks, but afterwards you will probably notice the score written down as a number out of 10. Perhaps it will say something like 6/10 and 9/10 meaning that your baby scored 6/10 at birth and then 9/10 when the test was repeated at five minutes. If the birth score is really low, or the five minute score is lower than around 5 or 6, a paediatrician is usually called to come and give the baby a further check-up.

Newborn Checks

The general assessments at birth include the midwife making sure that your baby's face, body and limbs look normal. The midwife will feel inside your baby's mouth to check that the palate is whole and to make sure there is no sign of a cleft palate. The midwife also checks your baby's spine, will examine his fingers and toes and anus, and take your baby's temperature. Finally, the midwife will weigh your baby and then measure his length and the distance around his head. All of these measurements are taken to give an indication of how mature baby is and to act as a starting point from which to measure your baby's growth.

Newborn Baby Checks?

October 2011
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