What Is the APGAR Score?

What Does a Newborn’s APGAR Score Mean?

The APGAR score (also called “newborn scoring”) is the first test that your newborn baby will ever be given. It is performed in hospitals throughout the world by the doctor, midwife or nurse. It is usually done twice, at 1 minute after birth, then again at 5 minutes. Occasionally, if the baby does not appear to be doing well, or the score was low at 5 minutes, the test may be done a third time 10 minutes after birth.

The APGAR scores are simply a way for the healthcare provider to quickly assess a newborn’s physical condition, and determine whether extra medical or emergency care is needed. The tests indicate if the infant needs help breathing or is having heart trouble.

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Reflexes in Newborns

Reflexes Babies Are Born with

Babies come into the world helpless and completely dependent on others to protect them and care for them. That much, we all know. But it turns out that newborns come equipped with a number of instincts — reflexes that will help insure a baby’s survival from the start, even before the infant has had a chance to learn how to do anything. Doctors test reflexes as a way to assess how well infants’ nervous systems are developing.

Most newborn reflexes start fading by the second month, and they’ve generally disappeared by the fourth month. Doctors caution that if baby reflexes continue beyond the fourth to sixth month, parents should tell that to their pediatrician, as it could possibly indicate that there is a neurologic concern.

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Newborns Normal Characteristics

Baby Boy Holding On To Mothers Finger

Newborns’ Characteristics that May Alarm Parents, but Are Normal

As new parents, you and your spouse are beside yourselves with joy over your new baby. Everything about your newborn seems magical and thrilling. But some characteristics that are perfectly normal in newborns may perhaps make you wonder if they’re something that’s peculiar to your baby, and if you need to do anything about it.

Let’s review a number of characteristics that are common among newborns, to help you decide whether your baby is in the normal range, or you should consult your pediatrician.

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Why Is the Amniotic Sac Manually Ruptured During Birth?

Amniotic Sac

Amniotic Sac Is Ruptured by Doctors (and Midwives) More Often than Necessary, According to Studies and Experts

We are all appreciative of the advances that have been made in safely delivering infants in our modern age, which have increased the number of live births, compared to many decades ago. However, just like doctors can get carried away doing unnecessary medical interventions and prescribing drugs that aren’t really needed, in general and specialized medicine, the specialty of obstetrics is no different.

An expectant woman does well to gather all the information she can about labor and delivery, before her due date arrives. Quite unfortunately, in regular hospitals, it is more the norm than the exception to subject mother and baby to procedures that go too far, and which can result in unnecessary complications for mother and infant.

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Benefits of Natural Third Stage in Labor


Natural (“Physiological”) Third Stage in Child Birth

You may have heard about the controversy regarding what the best time is, to clamp and cut the umbilical cord once an infant is born. And you may have also heard about delivering the placenta the natural way, by letting it detach and drop down all on its own, without anyone pulling on the cord.

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Nursing Moms, the Let-Down Reflex and Milk Supply


New moms may have the best intentions in wanting to breastfeed their newborns; but sometimes, nursing the baby doesn’t happen so effortlessly. This can lead both mom and infant to feel discouraged and want to give up trying.

But don’t give up! Your breast milk carries in it a large assortment of vital, life-sustaining nutrients, germ-fighting immunity cells, hormones, and many strains of beneficial bacteria that will colonize your baby’s gastrointestinal tract and aid digestion, as well as prevent allergies later on.

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Parents Install Newborns’ Car Seats Wrong!


Many Parents Position Newborns Wrong or Install Baby Car Seat Incorrectly for Baby’s First Ride Home from Hospital

Some parents may not think about it, but one of the things expecting parents ought to do before their little one is born, is to learn the proper techniques for placing the newborn in the car safety seat they’ll use, as well as installing the safety seat correctly.

According to a recent small study, the far majority of parents make one or more big mistakes when they place the infant in the seat or in installing the seat, as they drive home from the hospital with their newborns.

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Breast Milk Protects Newborns Against Deadly Intestinal Tract Disease

Breast Milk

As recently as the 1950’s, American moms were being told that formula was better for their babies than breast milk. A lot of moms bought into that fallacy, and more and more babies started being fed formula, instead of breast milk, even in the decades that followed. Food allergies subsequently exploded in numbers, and other potentially deadly newborn digestive diseases also saw a rise in incidences.

But in recent years, scientists have uncovered an increasing number of reasons why breast milk is in fact the perfect food for a baby — yet another case where Mother Nature knew best, after all.

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Cigarettes and Nicotine Products in Pregnancy All Linked to Higher ADHD Risk in Children

Pretty pregnant with a cigarette

For years, doctors have been urging women who get pregnant to give up cigarettes due to the many serious dangers that they pose to unborn babies and pregnant women. In the age of nicotine patches and nicotine gum, some physicians have even advised expecting women to switch to these, as they are believed to be less harmful to the baby than cigarette smoke.

But that may not be the case when it comes to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Read More

How to Protect Your Unborn Baby from Toxic Substances

Toxic Substances

It’s always smart to do our best to avoid artificial chemicals and other harmful substances in our lives; but it is all the more important for a woman who is expecting a child. A baby developing in the uterus is much more sensitive to many substances that the mother may be better able to tolerate. And some toxic agents can result in birth defects, other life-long adverse consequences, or even death.

While the list of harmful substances for unborn baby and mother is increasingly long in our modern times, the following are important steps you can take during your pregnancy, to help insure the well-being of both you and your unborn infant.

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