Birthowl’s natural childbirth

APGAR scoring system
March 13, 2008, 7:00 pm
Filed under: baby care, birth | Tags: , , , ,

Immediately after the baby is born, the baby will be tested using the APGAR scoring system if it is born in the hospital. If the baby is born at home, it is a good idea to perform this assessment yourself to see help you evaluate how the baby is doing. The APGAR test is performed at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. Ideally, the scores should improve during the four minutes that elapse between the two tests. A score of 10 is considered a perfect score. The infant is tested on five different indicators of the well-being, and receives a score of 0, 1 or 2. The items tested are:

Sign 0 1 2
Heart Rate Absent Slow Over 100
Respiratory Effect Absent Slow, Irregular Good, Strong
Muscle Tone Limp Some Flexion of Extremities Active Motion
Reflex Irritability
(response to bulb syringe or lips
being touched)
No Response Grimace Cough or sneeze (or strong grimace)
Color Blue, Pale Body Pink,
Exremeties Blue
Completely Pink

A score of 8-10 is excellent, 4-7 is guarded, 0-3 is critical. This lets you know how the baby is doing and if he/she is going to need extra assistance.


The baby should be offered the breast immediately because the sucking stimulates the uterus to contract, expel the placenta, and clamp down to reduce blood flow. If the infant does not want to nurse right away, there is no rush to do anything else unless there is hemorrhaging taking place.
Under no circumstances should the umbilical cord be cut until it has stopped pulsing. Babies whose cords are cut immediately have a tendency to become jaundiced or anemic because they did not receive all the blood from the cord and placenta that they needed.

Judie C. Rall and The Center for Unhindered Living

Photo by Barb


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