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10 fingers and 10 toes…check!

That moment when a baby is born and after a check to see whether it’s a boy or a girl, parents often ask about fingers and toes. They also think that somewhere between birth and immediately being handed their baby, we have taken the baby away to be weighed! We of course find it very fun guessing the weight of a baby (although there are no prizes) and I have only got it spot on once!

The APGAR score

All babies are given a score out of 10 at birth. This is called the APGAR and this looks at the colour of the baby, breathing, reflexes and heart rate. This is the first check that we perform, mostly without anyone knowing about it, we wouldn’t say “your baby has just scored 9/10 for instance”. We would hate for the parents to look at their newborn as an ‘underachiever’ from a minute old!

Other checks

There are many checks that take place, mainly in the first few days, looking at baby top to toe and also more in depth tests to check the babies heart, hips and eyes (this examination can be performed by midwives that have completed an extra course), Frequent weights, blood tests, hearing test, offering immunisations are all part of the first few days. Lots of info for the new mum and dad to take in and for midwives to explain without unnecessary jargon.

Article written by Emily Seddon

Emily is a midwife with many years of experience. She is passionate about supporting midwives of the future. As a clinical mentor, student link and being on university interview panels, she knows what it takes to get a place!

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