The First Tests Your Baby Will Have, and What To expectThere a some tests which will be run on your baby when he is born in order to ensure that your baby is healthy and that there are no complications: Apgar Score This test is used to overall condition immediately after birth. The Apgar score is used to determine the baby’s current health following the delivery, but it is not used to predict future health. This test is usually done between 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth, a score of 1,1 or 2 is possible in 5 areas: heart rate, color, muscle tone, respiratory effort and reflex irritability. Each time the test is completed the scores are added together for a maximum of 10. An average core for most babies is between 7-9. Blood Tests Blood tests are done to check for hyperphenylketonuria, anemia, hypthyroidism, sickle-cell anemia and blood glucose levels. Results often indicate whether baby needs further evaluation. Coombs Test This test detects if Rh-antibodies have been formed. Blood is taken from the umbilical cord for testing if the mothers blood is Rh-negative or type O, or if she has not been tested for antibodies. Reflex Assessment This assessment tests for several specific reflexes in baby, including the rooting and grasping reflexes. If a particular reflex is not observed further evaluation will be done. Neonatal Maturity Assessment Various characteristics of baby are assessed to evaluate his / her neuromuscular and physical maturity. Like the Apgar test, each characteristic is assigned a score, and the sum indicates baby’s maturity. Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale This test covers a broad range of newborn behavior and provides information on how a newborn responds to his environment. It is usually used when a problem is suspected, but some hospitals test all babies.
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