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Baby Care

After Your Baby Is Born, A Doctor Or Nurse Will Perform A Series Of Tests To Determine Your Baby's Physical Condition. A Routine Evaluation, Called The APGAR Test, Is Used To Identify Whether Your Baby Needs Urgent Medical Care. After Delivery, Your Baby Will Also Be Given A Vitamin K Shot, Eye Drops, And Newborn Screening Tests. Your Baby May Also Receive A Hearing Test And A Hepatitis B Vaccine.

What Happens During Apgar Test?

During An APGAR Test, Your Baby's Heart Rate, Breathing, Reflex Response, Muscle Tone, And Skin Coloration Are Measured. These Five Signs Are Evaluated At One Minute After Birth And At Five Minutes After Birth. Each Test Is Given A Score Between Zero And Two, And The Five Scores Are Added Together To Make Up The APGAR Score.

What Does Apgar Score Mean?

If Your Baby Has An APGAR Score Of Seven Or More, He Or She Is Probably In Good Physical Condition. A Baby Rarely Scores A Perfect 10, Because His Or Her Skin Color May Be Slightly Blue Until He Or She Warms Up. A Low APGAR Score May Indicate Problems With Your Baby's Heart Or Lungs. It May Also Be The Result Of A Difficult Labor. Your Baby May Be In Good Physical Condition, But Have A Low Score Immediately After Birth. Premature Babies May Score Low Because Of Immature Development In The Womb. Keep In Mind That Your Baby's APGAR Score Does Not Predict His Or Her Future Health.

Why Does My Baby Need A Vitamin K Shot?

Your Baby Will Typically Have Low Levels Of Vitamin K When He Or She Is Born. Vitamin K Is Needed For Blood Clotting, So Your Baby Will Usually Receive A Vitamin K Shot Immediately After Birth. This Will Help Prevent A Rare But Serious Bleeding Problem Known As Hemorrhagic Disease Of The Newborn.

What Are New Born Screening Tests?

All Newborns Are Screened For Certain Birth Defects. With Early Detection, These Conditions Can Be Prevented Or Treated. Your Baby's Heel Will Be Pricked And A Sample Of Blood Taken To Test For The Following:
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) – Phenylalanine, A Substance Found In Food, Cannot Be Processed, And Leads To A Buildup In The Brain That Can Cause Mental Retardation
  • Galactosemia – The Sugar In Milk Cannot Be Converted Into Sugar Used For Energy, Causing Mental Retardation, Blindness, And Death.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia – An Inherited Blood Disease That Can Cause Damage To Organs, Infections, And Death.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia – Missing Hormones That Can Affect Genital Development And Cause Death.
  • Hypothyroidism – Brain Development And Growth Are Hampered Because Of A Hormone Deficiency.
  • Why Does A Newborn Need A Hearing Test?