How to Perform Physical Examination of Newborn Babies?

How to Perform Physical Examination of Newborn Babies

What Should You Know About The Baby’s Physical Examinations?

The newborn physical examination is performed to ensure the baby is healthy and safe to go home. Doctors can perform a thorough examination in the hospital or community clinic. Both parents must be present when the examination is being carried. Continue reading to learn how this examination is performed.

What Is Newborn Examination Ah’s Score?

Ah’s score is a normal physical assessment technique. It carried out when the baby is born to check the physical condition of the newborn child. Doctors perform this test right after birth. The details are as follows:

1. Observing the child’s all body parts

The examiner assesses the baby from head to toe. He will check the overall posture, nervous system maturity, and all the muscles.

2. Heartbeat examination

This test ensures the baby’s heart is functioning properly and there is no risk of heart disease. The examiner also checks the breathing method and the number of breaths per minute.

3. Examining ears

Ensuring the baby’s ears are working fine. Checking ear holes and the shape of ears for abnormalities. If the doctor finds some problems during the examination, they can cure the issue before it gets worse.

4. Blood test

The doctor will take a small amount of blood to diagnose congenital metabolic problems. This test will take place two days after birth. It will reveal how the baby’s body is functioning.

5. Head scars test

This test ensures the baby has not been injured at the time of birth. The examination begins from the top of the head and then all parts of the upper body are checked carefully.  

6. Hepatic portal system test

It involves assessing the hepatic portal system with fingers. The treatment begins immediately if the doctor finds abnormalities.

7. Checking the baby’s legs

The doctor checks both legs to ensure their position is normal and both legs are equal in size. In case the hip joint is dislocated, the baby may have a weird posture.

8. Examining sexual organs

If it is a girl child, the doctor tests for the healing of outer and inner labia. If it’s a boy, the doctor examines the scrotum on both sides is same. The risk of hernia can increase if one scrotum is larger than the other one.

9. Checking the oral cavity

The doctor checks the size and shape of the tongue, gums, and oral cavity to ensure there are no tumors. The examiner will most likely use his fingers to check the baby’s mouth and internal organs.

What Is the 42-Day Physical Examination Of Newborn Babies?

Parents should take the child to the hospital once he is 42 days old. A physical examination will take place and it will be the first comprehensive examination after the baby has gone home. The examiner will check the following things:

1. Baby’s weight

The Baby’s weight indicates he is getting the meal and nutrients sufficiently for proper physical development. The examiner should calculate the weight when the baby is not full and not wearing any clothes.

2. Baby’s height

The Baby’s height indicates whether he is growing normally or not. If the baby’s height is not increasing as it should, it can indicate imbalanced nutrition, poor sleep, and poor activity!

3. Head circumference

It shows how a baby’s brain is developing. Its size also indicates the baby is getting the right diet to grow normally. If it is smaller than other babies, the doctor may perform further tests to thoroughly assess the problem.

4. Upper torso assessment

The examiner will thoroughly check chest development to ensure your baby’s lungs, thorax, back muscles, and subcutaneous fat is developing normally. Regular massage and normal exercises help the baby in the normal development of these organs.  

5. Assessing mental development

Doctors use various methods to test the baby is using his senses normally or not. It indicates the intellectual developments of the child. Therefore, some neuropsychological tests are carried out to check a baby’s mental development.

This physical examination reveals the overall development of a child after 42 days of his birth. It assures everything is fine. If not, the doctors can provide proper treatment to improve the baby’s health and assure proper growth.

How the Full Moon Examination Is Carried Out?

This examination is carried out in the following way:

1. Weight and height measurement

This test indicates the development of the child. A healthy baby will weigh above 2550 grams and he would be 47-53 cm tall.  

2. Head measurement

The examiner will check the size of the head along with the shape of the skull. The doctor might also touch and slightly press the scalp to assess the tension of the fontanelle and bone structure.

Experts use a red ball to test the baby’s eyes. It is placed around 30 cm away from the baby’s eyes and moved right to left. Everything is fine if your baby follows the ball. The doctor also checks how developed the auricle is and whether it is straight or not.

3. Neck assessment

This checkup reveals whether the baby has torticollis or not. The doctor touches the neck from both sides to ensure neck muscles are developing normally.

4. Chest assessment

This test reveals both sides of the chest are symmetrical. It also reveals the baby is breathing normally and there is no risk of dyspnea. The doctor will use his stethoscope to check heartbeats and lung health.  

5. Abdomen test

This test is performed to learn about intestinal shape and gastric peristaltic waves. The doctor will gently stroke your baby’s stomach to check lumps and bloating. The doctor also performs this test to check swelling, redness, bulge around the umbilical area, and other abdomen-related health conditions.

6. Buttocks

Buttocks are examined to find symptoms of Spina Bifida and check the skin condition for rashes.

7. Genitals test

A baby’s genitals are assessed to find deformities. Doctors thoroughly check these organs to ensure these body parts are growing normally.  

8. Limbs checkup

The doctors check limbs to check toe movement, the strength of the legs and search for the signs of hip dislocation.

If the examiner finds any health or body-structure related problems, the treatment can start immediately. That’s the benefit of this full-body assessment.

Why Do Doctors Examine a Baby After 48 Hours of Birth?

An important examination is performed after 48 hours of the baby’s birth. The baby starts eating after 8-12 hours. So, this test is performed during the first two days. The doctor will collect a little amount of blood.

Some other tests will be carried out for congenital hypothyroidism, homocystinuria, phenylketonuria, G-6-PD deficiency Syndrome, and galactosemia. The baby won’t show the signs of these health conditions if everything is fine.

What Are The Necessary Preparations For Newborn Physical Examination?

The first examination will take place in the hospital, where your baby has born. You should take care of the following things before future physical examinations of the newborn.

1. Choose the best hospital

You get many choices in the medical facilities when it comes to choosing the best place for the child’s physical examination. The hospital where your baby was born is the best choice for such an examination. However, you can also choose a local maternity center or a community hospital.

Make sure a well-experienced doctor will perform all the physical tests. The first physical examination will take place after 42 days of the baby’s birth. Choose a feature-rich medical facility to diagnose health issues and get the best treatment.

2. Make an appointment

You should call the hospital to get an appointment before you reach there. It will allow you to spend less time in the hospital and get the examination done at the right time. Check the working schedule of the doctor in advance to get the treatment from the best doctors.

3. Carry all the documents with you

You should not forget any document related to the baby’s first physical examination at home. Carry the required details with you along with your ID cards, the baby’s birth certificate, and his medical record book. Bring other important documents if required by the medical facility.

4. Prepare your baby for the examination

You should feed the baby at least three hours before the examination. The doctor will check the baby’s weight on empty stomach. Make sure the baby is happy and carry all the necessary supplies with you to avoid further trouble. Thus, the baby will be happy and won’t feel uncomfortable during the examination.

Final Thoughts

Give your baby a warm bath the day before the examination. Put clean clothes on your child and ensure he is not wearing too tight diapers. The examiner will ask several questions related to your baby’s activities and health. Be prepared to answer all the questions honestly!

These examinations reveal how your baby is growing. Therefore, physical examinations are important. Parents should not miss these examinations. You will learn a lot about your baby’s physical development.

Suppose the baby is suffering from any disease, the doctor will find it and provide the best treatment at the right time. Thus, your baby will get healthy and grow normally.  


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