For first time mothers, new born baby health can be a slightly traumatic experience.
Too often we see the cute, smiling, babies and we cannot wait to get our own bundle of joy only when baby comes out it is not what was expected. As a matter of fact the first real smile makes an appearance at about four weeks.
You will agree with me that after all that journey through the womb let alone being in the womb for seven or more months that appearance will not be high on the list .Today ,I am going to be sharing on what are some things done to access baby’s health just after birth. Of course there may be more depending on which country or island you are from.
First off as soon as the head is crowned ,mucus is removed from the nostrils and mouth to clear the airways. The umbilical cord is clamped and antibiotic applied to prevent infection. Antibiotic eye ointment is also administered to the eyelids to prevent eye infections especially if there was a vaginal birth. Then the APGAR score is taken. You may be wondering what is that. It is a score taken to evaluate how the baby is doing if fine or need further medical attention.so what is looked at;
Scores between 10 to 7 is excellent 4 to 6 fair and below 4 poor.
A few other things checked for of course fingers and toes!
A record of urine or stooling activity
Internal organs (kidney, spleen liver) done by external palpation of physician’s hand.
Reflexes and hips for dislocation
Identification by use of ID bands or inked feet( depending on which part of the world your are)
Blood test is also done. A sample is taken from the baby’s heel to test for phenylketonuria( a genetic disorder where the body is unable to break down an amino acid called phenylalanine) which can lead to development disorders if not identified and treated early and hypothyroidism( caused when the thyroid gland located in the front part of the neck is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone) among other test deemed necessary according to the policies of hospital, state, or risk of pregnancy. This can be done in a 24 to 48 hours period. Other test can be carried out depending if the status of mother was unknown to hospital for example are HIV or hepatitis B. If these are positive then the appropriate treatment is given to baby and mother. These cases are now rare because routine prenatal care should have identified this and of course the health information should be given to the health care practitioner at the hospital before delivery so everyone is aware of the health status of the mother.
Until next time if you have any additions that you think is important to share with others feel free to add to the discussion by commenting below.