- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
Immediately after birth your baby is given a "grade"—a reminder that your newborn is entering a quantitative world where humans are compared and scored from the moment of birth and throughout life. The Apgar score—devised by Dr. Virginia Apgar in 1952—is a quick appraisal of the initial health of your baby. This score, determined first at one minute and then five minutes after birth, assesses your newborn's heart rate, breathing effort, skin color, muscle tone and activity, and response to stimulation.
There is seldom a perfect 10. Even tough there are infants who are pink all over, breathe normally, have normal heart rates, show strong muscular movement, and cry lustily, most normal, healthy newborns do not achieve perfect scores. Because it takes a few minutes for a newborn's circulatory system to adjust to life outside of the womb, it is quite normal for a newborn to have blue hands and feet for the first few hours. Also, some babies are naturally quiet immediately after birth. In fact, some of the healthiest newborns I have seen are in a state of quiet alertness at five minutes, but they would lose points on their Apgar for not "crying lustily."