What is an APGAR score?

Baby's medical check
Baby's medical check

APGAR stands for

A is for appearance

A pink skin colour shows she’s getting enough oxygen and her lungs are working well.

P is for pulse or heart rate

This shows that the heartbeat is strong and regular.

G is for grimace, or response to stimulation

Your baby’s normal reflexes are checked to see that all her senses are developed and she is alert to stimulation.

A is for activity or muscle tone

How much she moves her limbs shows whether she has healthy muscle tone.

R is for respiratory or breathing

This is a test to check that her breathing is well under way and that her lungs are fully developed.

What is agood APGAR score?

Your baby should receive a score of at least 7, which indicates a good condition. If it is lower she will be checked every 5 minutes until her condition improves.

Infants with a score between 6 and 4 have mild depression of their vital signs.

A baby with a score below 4 would need help and resuscitation.

A low APGAR score

A low APGAR score could be because of:

  • Diminished oxygen supply before delivery
  • Drugs the mother received during labour
  • Premature baby
  • Difficult delivery
  • Excessive suctioning of the baby after delivery

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