What Is Newborn Visual Inspection and Why It Is Important?

What Is Newborn Visual Inspection and Why It Is Important

How Does The Newborn Visual Screening Test Take Place?

It is the responsibility of doctors to ensure the newborn child is healthy and fit. Therefore, they carry out a series of tests to check the entire body of the child. Many types of inspections take place after birth. Visual inspection is one of them and it is quite important.

You should know about visual examination if you are expecting a child. Soon these inspections will determine whether you have a normal child or not. A little knowledge about these inspections will assure you that the child is fine. So, let’s find out more information on the newborn visual inspection process.

Why Newborn Visual Inspection Is So Important?

Both doctors and nurses work tirelessly to ensure the newborn child comes into this world without any incident. They want to ensure the good health of the child. Therefore, a comprehensive screening procedure takes place right after birth. It confirms the newborn child is fit and healthy.

Suppose the baby is not fit or healthy, doctors will provide the best possible treatment to cure him. A comprehensive health checkup reveals everything about the newborn baby’s health condition. That’s why visual inspection is so important.

Every newborn child needs primary treatments. The child is then transferred to the newborn intensive care unit. Now, the hospital staff cleans the entire body of the newborn child. They ensure the baby stable and then they start conducting the test. It is a physical examination of the baby’s body parts and his health.

The doctor will order a blood test, heartbeat test, visual inspection, and other physical examinations. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure the baby is fit and healthy. If not, he will get the necessary treatment and care to get healthy as soon as possible.

What Are the Newborn Visual Screening Methods?

The doctor will start newborn visual screening only after ensuring the baby is stable. This checkup involves a careful examination of all the body parts. The doctor will also perform a basic physical examination to make sure the child is healthy.

1. Physical screening

The examiner will not screen the complete posture of the newborn child. He/she will check whether all the body parts are normally developed or not. The doctor will carefully screen the child from the head to the toes. This examination will reveal the physical disabilities of the child if there is any. This examination also reveals scars, birthmarks, or injuries if the baby had any injury at the time of birth.

2. Skin color examination

A newborn baby’s skin color reveals many important facts about the baby’s health condition. The baby is healthy is his skin looks reddish at the time of his birth. If the baby got a bluish or too white skin tone, it can be due to an underlying health condition.

The doctor will immediately order some tests if the baby got yellow skin. It can be a symptom of jaundice. This disease can be life-threatening for any newborn child. Therefore, an immediate checkup is required to rule out the danger of jaundice. 

Mothers with newborn child are not allowed to leave the hospital a day after birth. Doctors carefully observe the changes in the mother and child’s health. Doctors remove all the clothes when visually screening the child. Thus, each body part is examined carefully. Doctors check muscle tension, overall posture, and other body parts.

The doctor will physically examine the child every morning and evening for a few days. Visual examination can take place a few times until the child is discharged. If doctors observe any symptom of a normal or serious health issue, they can immediately treat the child.

What Precautions to Take When Visually Screening A Newborn Child?

Newborn children are quite fragile and require special care. Visual screening can cause a bit of discomfort to a newborn child. Therefore, examiners must be extra careful o not to hurt the child. You should take certain precautions at the time of screening to avoid injuries and health issues.

First of all, you should touch and move the baby gently. This test requires turning the baby’s body for a complete inspection. Gentle movement won’t cause any problem to the child. Sudden movements can disturb the child. Do not pull the baby’s limbs to avoid muscle strain. 

If the child starts crying and continues to do so, give him to the mother. The baby will feel a bit calm and sleep quickly. You can begin the physical screening of the child when he is asleep. Thus, he won’t cry and move his limbs during the test. You can complete the visual screening test quickly and take appropriate actions based on that test.

Be extra careful when screening the following body parts of a newborn child:

Skin: Look for skin abnormalities like blemishes or sudden changes in the skin color after birth. Do not stretch or pull the skin because newborns have quite delicate skin. Pulling or stretching can hurt the child.

Head and neck: Doctors carefully check the baby’s head and neck for abnormalities. They want to ensure the child had no injuries at the time of birth. Besides, this inspection also reveals the baby’s eyes, ears, and neck is working perfectly. That means no further treatment is necessary. The examiner must avoid turning or pressing the newborn child’s head too faster. Such actions can result in severe injury.

Heart and lungs: The doctor usually uses a stethoscope to carefully listen to the child’s heartbeats and breathing movements. They notice how many times the heart beats. They also ensure the baby is not breathing too heavily. If his breathing speed is faster than a normal child, it can be a symptom of an issue with the baby’s respiratory system.

Abdomen and genital checkup: The doctor will check the abdomen size and shape at the time of birth. It changes as the baby grows older. Therefore, the visual screening of the abdomen takes place several times during the first year of the baby’s life. The doctor will also check the position and shape of the genitals to ensure the baby is fine. All the clothes should be removed from the baby’s body to make the inspection easier.

Muscles and bones: Doctors like to ensure the baby has strong bones and flexible muscles. Therefore, they test different muscles. Babies have a quite fragile body and therefore the doctors complete the entire inspections cautiously. They search for abnormalities and provide immediate treatment if any abnormality found.

What Are the Characteristics of A Healthy Newborn Child?

The newborn child appears quite different from a 5-6 months old baby. Therefore, it can be a bit puzzling to ensure the baby is healthy and normal. The following characteristics are the signs of a healthy baby:

1. Peeling skin and bodily hairs

A newborn child can have hairs on his body and peeling skin. The skin loses its protective fetal fat, which the skin loses after birth. It looks like the skin is peeling, but that’s a normal phenomenon. The baby will have normal skin and facial and other hairs will be removed. Thus, the baby will look normal after a few days.

Some newborn children have hair on the back, shoulders, and other limbs. This hair automatically disappears in a few weeks. So, there is no need to worry if the baby looks a bit furry.

2. Hair loss at a young age and soft fontanelle

Newborn children can have a different tone of hair than parents. These hairs fall automatically during the first six months. New hair appears and looks quite similar to the color of parents’ hair.

If you gently examine the head of a newborn child, it will feel quite soft. Newborn children have soft skull because it is under development. It gets stronger and larger as the baby grows. However, parents should treat the child carefully. Do not press or put the baby’s head carelessly on the bed. It can hurt his brain!

3. Tiny-soft hands

Newborn babies have tiny but well-developed fingers and toes. They also have nails, which they often use to scratch their face. Therefore, parents or doctors must remove the soft fingernails of the newborn child.

You should cut and trim your nails if performing a visual inspection of a newborn child. Your nails can hurt the baby and cause infection. So, be extra careful!

4. Tummy may look a bit bloated

A newborn child’s tummy may look a bit bloated for a few days or weeks. It appears so because of pouring hormones in his body and the development of internal organs. The baby is normal and there is no need to worry about it.

5. Dark green stool

Newborn children have a dark green stool. They release meconium out of their body. Stool color changes within one of two days and then it won’t look green anymore.


Now you know everything about how the visual inspection takes place and why it is important. This type of visual screening tests takes place in every maternity center. Therefore, you should not worry about it. Let the doctor perform all the required tests to ensure your baby is healthy and fine.

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