newborn assessment

Topics: Infant, Pediatrics, Reflexes Pages: 11 (3595 words) Published: October 7, 2013
A newborn baby is Gods gift to every one in the human race.Extrauterine life presents a challenge to the newborn baby.The normal newborn continues to adapt to extrauterine life in the first few weeks after birth,remaining vulnerable to many common problems like airways disorders,infection and hypoglycemia.This necessitates the need for the provision of an environment that is optimal for physiological needs.The mother takes responsibility for this by continuing to develop and nurture the mother-baby relationship.The father should also play his part and become involved in the care of his baby.The baby remains dependent on the mother or caregiver for nutrition and protection,but is solely responsible for maintaining homeostasis and metabolism among other functions necessary for survival. DEFINITION-NORMAL NEWBORN

A newborn is a healthy infant born at term(between 38 to 42 weeks) and should have an average birth weight for the country(usually > 2500g),cries immediately after birth,establishes independent rhythmic respiration and quickly adapts to the changed environment. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NEWBORN

All babies are different. Here is a summary of some of the physical characteristics and newborn behavior. Each of them are normal findings. Soft spot: The anterior fontanelle, a diamond-shaped soft area at the top of the skull. It might pulsate.It should close over between 6 to 18 months. Caput/Cephalhematoma: Fluid-filled swellings on the top of the scalp. They usually go away within a few days to months after birth. Ears: A pit or dimple in front of the ear is not uncommon. Rarely, these may get infected, so inform neonatologist if you see redness or swelling. Also, the ears may be soft and folded over, but will assume normal shape soon. Eyes: Eyelids may be swollen for the first three days. The white of the eye may have a scarlet-colored hemorrhage on it. This will resolve within 6 weeks. Watery Eyes: This may be a blocked tear duct. Most of these open up by one year. Consult a doctor if there is a lot of mucus or yellow discharge. Stuffy Noses: It is very common for infant's noses to appear to be stuffy. Hold a mirror directly under each nostril. If mist appears on the mirror, the nostril is open. Try saline drops (one drop each nostril as often as needed) down each nostril. The stuffiness disappears as the nostrils get bigger (around 2 - 4 months). Mouth with white spots: Epithelial pearls are found on the gum or hard palate and are about the size of a pinhead. They'll go away by 2 months. Thrush consists of white patches on the tongue and inner cheeks. It can be confused with milk or formula (which easily wipes off.)

Skin: Many babies get red blotches with a small white lump in the center (about the size of a pencil eraser head) all over their body. They'll come and go for the first 1 - 2 weeks. It's called erythema toxicum. Acne: Begins around 2 weeks of age and lasts until 4 to 6 months. Baby lotion may make it worse. Keep clean with soap and water. Dry skin: Babies lose their outer layer of skin after they are born. There will be flaking especially around the ankles, feet, hands and extremities. White Bumps: On the face and chest are called milia. They look like pimples. They'll go away in 2 months. Stork Bites: These are flat, pink/burgundy birthmarks found on the back of the neck, or above the nose and eyes. Most of the facial marks will go away by 18 months, 25% of the neck birthmarks will remain, but are covered by hair. Breast enlargement: May occur in male and female newborns in the first few weeks of life and may last for 6 months to 1 year. It's due to hormones that have been passed on by the mother before birth. You may even notice a drop of milk coming from the enlarged breast. Umbilical cord: You'll sometimes see some yellowish discharge underneath the dried cord. The cord should fall off between 10-30 days of age. There may be some oozing of blood for a few days as the cord...
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