What is an Apgar? The Apgar is a test that the majority of babies are given when they are first born. It’s a test that was developed by an anesthesiologist named Virginia Apgar. She discovered that you could record information on a newborn’s condition and responses in the first five minutes of life that they could make decisions and assessments of the care that baby will need.
A score between 7 and 10 is considered excellent and reflects that the baby is in great condition and they will only need regular or routine post-delivery care. There are few problems and considerations that need to be made. The majority of healthy newborns achieve scores in this range.
A score between 4 and 6 is considered to be only in fair condition and the physicians will increase the amount of monitoring and care given to the baby post delivery. It may also mean that resuscitate care is going to be required for this infant. If the baby scores less than 4, there will be immediate measures taken to help the baby maintain life. This is a very poor condition and there was a great deal of concern initially that babies born with a very low Apgar score were going to suffer health and neurological issues for the rest of their life.
Poor oxygen consumption may have contributed to that fear, but with modern medicine and resuscitative measures – babies have a much better opportunity for a longer and healthier life. Most parents are going to want to hear that their baby scored in the 7 to 10 range on the Apgar and they are going to be concerned about their baby’s health if they do not score that high.
Be prepared if they don’t score that high, however and discuss what will need to happen with your ob/gyn and your pediatric specialist. They should be able to answer all of your questions and don’t fall into despair, as I stated earlier, a low Apgar score doesn’t mean your baby will be unhealthy for the rest of their life. It simply means they will need greater care during the immediate time after they are born.
What did your baby score on the Apgar test?