The birth of a baby is one of life's most wondrous moments. Few experiences can compare with this event. Newborn babies have amazing abilities, yet they are completely dependent on others for every aspect - feeding, warmth, and comfort.
Physical examination of the newborn in the delivery room:
A brief, physical examination is performed to check for obvious signs that the baby is healthy. Other necessary procedures will be done over the next few minutes and hours.
These may be done in the delivery room or in the nursery, depending on the hospital policy and the condition of the baby. Some of these procedures include the following:
- Measurement of the temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate.
- Measurement of weight, length, and head circumference - these measurements help determine if a baby's weight and measurements are normal for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Small or underweight babies, as well as very large babies, may need special attention and care.
- Cord care - cleansing of the umbilical cord stump may include treatment with a purple antiseptic dye which help to prevent infection.
- Bath - once a baby's temperature has stabilized, the first bath can be given.
- Footprints are often taken and recorded in the medical record.
Before a baby leaves the delivery area, identification bracelets with identical numbers are placed on the baby and mother. Babies often have two, on the wrist and ankle. These should be checked each time the baby comes or goes from your room.