8 Physical Examination of Newborn
Windowofworld.com – A newborn physical examination must be done on the first day after birth. The examination includes checking vital signs including body temperature, heart rate, and breathing of the baby, length and weight, and specific examinations of vital organs of the body.
A newborn physical examination is an important routine medical procedure performed by a doctor to ensure that a newborn baby is in good health. This examination is also important to detect certain conditions or diseases in your child early.
Generally, a newborn physical examination is carried out in a hospital or in a maternity clinic before the mother and baby return home. Mother and Father are advised to remain in the hospital or clinic until the examination is complete, and wait for the doctor to explain the results of the examination and the condition of the Little One. If the doctor or midwife discovers a problem with the baby, they will be referred for further examination and treatment.
What are the physicals of a newborn?
A newborn physical examination includes:
1. Apgar examination
This examination is carried out immediately after the newborn baby. Apgar examination includes examination of baby’s skin color, baby’s heart rate, newborn reflexes, muscle strength, and baby’s breathing. If the newborn Apgar examination value is more than 7, then the baby can be considered healthy. However, if the baby’s Apgar score is low, then the baby may have certain health problems.
2. Gestational examination, head circumference, and body weight
Gestational examination to determine the age of birth, whether the baby is born prematurely or according to the normal age is determined by the assessment of the new Ballard score. The doctor or midwife will weigh your baby’s weight and measure the body length and head circumference of the baby. All of these measurements will be compared with a chart to ensure that the baby is normal.
3. Examination of head and neck
A newborn physical examination includes a head and neck examination. The doctor will check the shape of the baby’s head, neck, nose, and ears to see if there are deformities of the baby’s head and neck.
4. Oral examination
Examination of the mouth includes examination of the gums and palate. This examination is important to detect abnormalities such as cleft lip.
5. Examination of the heart and lungs
Physical examination of the newborn in the heart includes checking the heart rate and sound using the heart rate of a newborn baby ranging from 120 to 160 beats per minute. Abnormal heart sounds or sounds can indicate problems with the structure of the heart. This examination aims to detect whether a newborn has heart disease. In a lung examination, the doctor will check the respiratory rate, breathing pattern, and evaluate the respiratory function of the baby. In this examination, the doctor will also see whether the baby is experiencing signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or irregular breathing, grunting while breathing, or bluish tint on the lips, gums, and baby’s mucous membranes.
6. Examination of the stomach and genitals
Examination of the baby’s stomach includes the shape, circumference of the abdomen, and examination of organs in the stomach such as the liver, intestines, and stomach of the baby. The baby’s umbilical cord examination is also included in this physical examination. Examination of the genital organs is part of the routine physical examination of the newborn, in male infants, the doctor will evaluate whether the testes are in the testicles bag. In a baby girl, the doctor will check the shape of the labia, and fluid coming out of the baby’s vagina.
7. Examination of the spine
This examination aims to determine whether your baby has abnormalities such as spina bifida or neural tube defects.
8. Examination of hands and feet
The doctor will check the pulse in each arm, making sure each hand and foot have the same size along with the number of fingers on the limb.
The doctor or midwife who checks will also see your baby’s skin color and activity. Usually the baby will be given eye drops or ointment to prevent infection. Vitamin K injections are also given to prevent possible bleeding. The baby must get the first injection of hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital within 24 hours after birth.
After the physical examination of the newborn, the doctor and midwife will recommend a follow-up physical examination at around 6-8 weeks old. Be sure to ask everything related to the results of the examination, to anticipate early if there are abnormalities or problems in your baby.