The Apgar score is done at one and five minutes old and at ten minutes if necessary.  It is usually done without you even realizing it.  A nurse will assess your baby at one minute old, often just visually, and assign a score from 0-10 points.  She will do the same at five minutes of age.  Common Apgar scores are 8 and 9, meaning an 8 at one minute and a 9 at five minutes.  The scores are based on the five following criteria: Heart Rate (absent = 0 pts, below 100 = 1 pt, over 100 = 2 pts) Respiratory Effort (absent = 0pts, slow/irregular = 1 pt, good/crying = 2 pts) Muscle Tone (flaccid = 0 pts, some flexion of extremities = 1 pt, active motion = 2 pts) Reflex Irritability (no response = 0pts, grimace = 1pt, cry = 2pts), and Color (blue/pale = 0 pts, body pink/extremeties blue = 1pt, completely pink = 2 pts). Obviously, the lower the score, the more assistance the baby will need in making the transition from a uterine environment to “life on the outside.”  Nurses will often vigorously stimulate a baby just after birth to expedite this major transition.  It is wonderful for a brand new baby to cry for a few moments just after birth.  That’s how he/she clears the lungs and transitions to breathing air.  If you’d like to know your baby’s Apgar scores, ask your labor and delivery nurse.

Best Doula Award

Birth Learning has been honored with the Best Doula award at the 2023 Best of Utah - Body & Mind Awards.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This