The Apgar score is the first test most babies have. Even at most home births the attending care provider will...
The Apgar score is the first test most babies have. Even at most home births the attending care provider will complete an Apgar. You can break the Apgar test down like this: Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration.
  • 725870_welcome_to_the_world_1.jpgheart rate (pulse)
  • breathing (rate and effort)
  • activity and muscle tone
  • grimace response (medically known as "reflex irritability")
  • appearance (skin coloration)
You don't need to worry too much about these scores. As long as your baby scores a 7 or above she's in good shape. This test was basically developed as a way for birth attendants to evaluate your newborn quickly while allowing decisions about emergency care to be made if needed. If there's a problem your care provider will tell you what comes next. Usually this test is done at one minute after birth, five minutes after and sometimes at ten minutes after. Your care provider can do the test while your baby is on your stomach or while you or your partner hold her so you don't need to worry about it interfering with bonding and first contact. Read more about the finer details of the Apgar. Don't forget to enter Pregnancy & Baby's Little Monsters Contest -- you can win fabulous prizes that will help you preserve your digital memories!

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