Once your baby is delivered, the time is noted as the birth time. At 1 minute old and at 5 minutes old baby will be scored by a nurse or physician. This is known as the Apgar scores. The test is named after the creator, Virginia Apgar, these scores help the doctors evaluate the baby’s general condition.
Baby can score up to two points for a total of ten, in 5 categories: breathing, color, tone, reflex, and heart rate.
Most newborns have an apgar of 7 or above. A small percentage of newborns have an apgar of less than 5. Babies born prematurely or in an emergent situation are more likely to have lower apgar scores.
If your baby is crying vigorously, her heart rate is over 100, she actively moving her arms and legs, and her skin is pink except for her hands and feet, she would score a 9. It is rare for babies to score a 10, as it is normal for babies to have blue hands and feet in the first hours as they change from fetal circulation to newborn circulation.
This score will not be able to predict the future health, intelligence level or personality of your baby but it does give doctors and nurses a starting off point to predict how much help baby may need as she transitions from life in the womb to life in the world.