APGAR and other basics for baby after birth

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, explains the APGAR and other basic tests that are performed on a baby shortly after birth in order to ensure he or she is healthy
APGAR and Other Basic Tests For Your Baby After Birth
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APGAR and other basics for baby after birth

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So, after you give birth, if nothing is concerning, the baby goes on to your chest for some nice skin to skin bonding. At that point, the baby can try to nurse, you're gonna wanna be close to your baby. And, during that time, the nurse is also taking the baby's vitals, taking the baby's heart rate, breathing, giving APGAR scores which are series of scores based on five criteria to make sure the baby is doing okay at 1 and 5 minutes. The baby gets banded with both a hospital ID and Baby LoJack to make sure the baby is safe while she's here in the hospital. And, if everything is okay, the baby stays with you for an hour or so, and then the baby goes to the nursery. Once the baby goes to the nursery generally with the father, the baby gets weighed, the length is taken, the baby's head circumference is measured, and then vital signs are done again. Sometimes, a glucose level is also checked there's any other considerations like the baby's mother is diabetic or the baby is over a certain weight. At this point, the baby gets a bath, the baby gets Dubowitz scored which is a measure of looking at the baby's gestational age based on physical features to make sure the baby is not more premature than expected based on the mother's presumed gestational age. At this point, the baby gets a Vitamin K shot that helps with any bleeding irregularities that might occur. The baby gets erythromycin drops in the eye to prevent gonorrhea or Chlamydia infections of the eye. And, the baby, if the parents give permission, gets the first of its Hepatitis B vaccine series. After these things are done, the baby returns to the mother and the family is united again. 24 hours after birth and before the baby goes home from the hospital, the baby also gets tested with a little prick to the heel so that blood can be sent to the state for inborn errors of metabolism like PKU that can be corrected if the baby is given certain medications or diet if found early enough. All these things are done to make sure that your baby is healthy. And, when you take your baby home, you have nothing to worry about.

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, explains the APGAR and other basic tests that are performed on a baby shortly after birth in order to ensure he or she is healthy

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Lauren D. Hyman, MD

Obstetrician Gynecologist

Dr. Lauren Hyman is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. After receiving her ScB from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale University, Dr. Hyman returned to Southern California where she has been in private practice in the West Hills area for fifteen years. She can be seen weekly on Hallmark Channelʼs Home and Family Pregnancy Series and is a contributing writer on mom.me. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

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