What is an APGAR score?
When your baby is born she will have five brief tests based on her vital signs yielding and Apgar score out of 10
Baby's medical check

APGAR stands for

A is for appearance

A pink skin colour shows she’s getting enough oxygen and her lungs are working well.

P is for pulse or heart rate

This shows that the heartbeat is strong and regular.

G is for grimace, or response to stimulation

Your baby’s normal reflexes are checked to see that all her senses are developed and she is alert to stimulation.

A is for activity or muscle tone

How much she moves her limbs shows whether she has healthy muscle tone.

R is for respiratory or breathing

This is a test to check that her breathing is well under way and that her lungs are fully developed.

What is agood APGAR score?

Your baby should receive a score of at least 7, which indicates a good condition. If it is lower she will be checked every 5 minutes until her condition improves.

Infants with a score between 6 and 4 have mild depression of their vital signs.

A baby with a score below 4 would need help and resuscitation.

A low APGAR score

A low APGAR score could be because of:

  • Diminished oxygen supply before delivery
  • Drugs the mother received during labour
  • Premature baby
  • Difficult delivery
  • Excessive suctioning of the baby after delivery

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