Numerous health checkups and medical tests are crucial for newborns since these tests help to find out whether the baby is medically fit or not. Medical tests are also done to record the initial weight, height and other such basic physical parameters.
While some are done immediately after birth, others may be done a few hours or days following the birth. Every parent must be aware of the various checkups that are done after the birth of a newborn and for this purpose, we have come with a list of all the important ones.
The first test that will be performed on your newly born baby is the Apgar score. This will be recorded by the nurse or the midwife at one minute and then again at 5 minutes. This test is done by watching the colour, breathing as well as the behaviour and activity of the baby. This test is done to tell whether the baby has any immediate medical issues and does he/she needs any kind of medical support.
After the mother has held the baby for some time, then the midwife or the nurse will again perform some basic tests to check the weight, temperature and also the circumference of the baby’s head. The figures obtained from these basic tests are later added to the development charts of the baby in the personal child health record.
72 hours after the birth of the baby, a full body examination is done. This time period gives the baby time to adjust to the outside environment and allows for prompt medical attention as well, if needed. In this test, the baby will be examined by a paediatrician or a midwife. The examination takes place in the presence of the parents and questions about the family’s health history may also be asked. The following are the main things which are tested in this examination.
- Head-a squashed head is common among babies and in this test, the head is tested properly for any deformities.
- Ears and eyes-during the full examination, the ears and eyes are thoroughly checked for any obvious problems. In this test, the doctor or midwife will shine a light in the eyes of the baby to find a red reflex. A hearing test called automated otoacoustic emission is done on the baby.
- Mouth-in this test, the doctor will put a finger in the mouth of your baby to make sure that the roof of the mouth is complete and the sucking reflex works properly. In some cases, there may be a gap in the palate known as cleft palate may need surgery.
- Heart and lungs-the baby’s heart will be checked using a stethoscope to include heart murmurs. Also, the breathing of the baby will be tested to make sure the pattern is fine and the breathing is clear.
Others-other parts or organs that will be tested in this full examination include skin, genitals, hands and feet, hips, spine and the reflexes.