First birth checks: blood sampling, neontal screening, Apgar index. How the baby’s first visit to the hospital works
First birth checks
The baby was born, what a joy! Let’s see if it’s all right: let’s evaluate the l‘Apgar index in two different times, we do the pediatric visit and see how much it weighs … Gods first birth checks and we talk about the first evaluations of the newborn with Costantino Romagnoli, Professor of Neonatology at the Catholic University of S. Cuore in Rome, Director of Neonatal Intensive Care at the Gemelli Polyclinic and President of the Italian Society of Neonatology.
In this article
He was born: a deep breath and then the cut of the umbilical cord
As soon as the baby comes to light, is lifted up to show it to mom and dad, but immediately afterwards important passages follow one another, albeit fast, which the new mother does not even notice.
First of all the airways are cleared with a tube, after which, even before clamping the umbilical cord, the baby is expected to perform at least two or three breaths.
Prof Romagnoli explains:
It is an important wait to be respected, which allows the placental blood to pass to the baby and to oxygenate it at its best, preventing disorders such as neonatal anemia or blood pressure drops. In fact, in the mother’s belly the lung does not receive blood, but it is only with the first breaths that the lungs expand and the blood can supply them effectively. To facilitate the flow, the newborn is placed on a slightly lower surface than the mother, even if the uterine contractions themselves pump the blood towards him
After 1 minute from birth: the first Apgar test
One minute after birth, the first Apgar Index is evaluated, with which the well-being of the newborn is verified through five parameters:
Each parameter is assigned a score from 0 to 2: the optimum is a total result equal to or greater than 7.
Who carries out the Apgar Index?
The ideal would be if the neonatologist did it, however the midwife also has the skills to check the five parameters and evaluate when the intervention of the neonatologist is necessary.
Finally in mom’s lap
After these operations, which in all last a few moments, the baby is dried, wrapped in a cloth and finally placed on the mother.
It is very important that the baby is dried and covered. In fact, consider that the child comes out wet from an environment where the temperature was around 38 degrees and suddenly finds himself in a room where no more than 24-25 degrees are reached, so the temperature difference is considerable: contact is fine. skin to skin, but always adequately protected
points out prof. Romagnoli.
Early attachment to the breast
Once in the mother’s lap, the baby can be attached to the breast. Romagnoli specifies that in the first half hour of life the newborn is generally very active, after which a physiological phase of relaxation follows after the stress of childbirth, in which it is normal for him to fall asleep.
This is why the 20-30 minutes after birth are the ideal ones in which to start breastfeeding, to immediately stimulate milk production and promote the mother-baby bond (without considering that sucking stimulates uterine contractions that favor the scaling of the baby’s breast. uterus and avert the risk of bleeding)
After 5 minutes: the second Apgar Index, then the visit and dressing
Even if the baby is still in the mother’s lap, after five minutes it is necessary to evaluate the second Apgar Index, with which we check the same parameters again as before and confirm that everything is fine.
After a few more minutes, the baby is taken to be washed, weighed and examined by the neonatologist, who checks his breath more accurately, feels his heart, palpates his belly, checks his nose, mouth, ears and genitals; finally, the cord is treated, the baby is dressed and a special bracelet is applied to him, with a numerical code identical to that applied to the mother, in order to avoid confusion.
In the meantime, the mother remains on the cot in the delivery room for the afterbirth and for the suturing of any lacerations.
The importance of rooming in (if possible)
After two hours after the birth, and after the necessary checks for both of them, the mother goes back to the room and, if rooming in is provided, the child is brought to her.