The Doctors: APGAR Score System
A woman who just gave birth to twins said she is excited but anxious about going home with her new arrivals. She wondered if The Doctors have any advice to watch out for when it comes to twins, or in general when taking infants home for the first time.
Dr. Lisa Masterson said that doctors feel it is an honor to be among the first to hold and examine a newborn baby. The first thing you need to know is that an obstetrician will evaluate your baby immediately after birth using the Apgar System, named for the physician who developed it, Dr. Virginia Apgar.
Apgar stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration. This allows pediatricians to immediately evaluate the baby and its needs. Sometimes a baby may need assistance with breathing or have other immediate medical concerns after delivery.
Doctors and medical staff use a newborn’s Apgar score as a shorthand to communicate an infant’s immediate health needs or concerns in the delivery room. An Apgar Score of 8 or higher is optimal. Dr. Jim Sears weighed in on things to watch for when taking a baby home.
The Doctors: Infant Jaundice
Babies are typically born with excess blood in their systems, which can contribute to Jaundice. Extra blood will break down, causing a yellow tint in the face and eyes. But if Jaundice spreads to the belly or other body areas, you may want to alert your pediatrician.
The Drs: Baby Belly Button
It is important to keep the baby’s belly button clean. Watch for pus in this area, and alert your pediatrician if you notice this.
The Doctors: Orange Powder In Diaper
With infants, you may notice an orange, powdery substance in the diaper. That sounds alarming, and Dr. Jim said it can look like smeared lipstick. It’s caused by a naturally occurring crystal in the urine. The good news is it is completely normal and isn’t anything to worry about.
The Drs TV: Baby’s Soft Spot
Be aware of your baby’s soft spot so you can monitor its shape for changes. A sunken soft spot could suggest dehydration, whereas a Bulging Soft Spot indicates a possible infection.
Call your pediatrician if you think your infant is exhibiting any abnormal symptoms or behavior.