The APGAR test
This is an important test that doctors have used to assess a newborn’s health since the 1950s. After baby has let out that first cry and had any mucus or amniotic fluid cleared, your doctor will perform an APGAR test. APGAR is an acronym that stands for:
The test will be performed within one minute of birth, then again at around five minutes. In 98% of cases, a newborn passes with flying colors.
Cutting the cord
Some time between giving birth and passing the placenta, your umbilical cord will be cut. Recent studies support a process called delayed cord clamping. By waiting around three minutes to cut the cord, you give an opportunity for precious stem cells to flow into baby’s bloodstream, which can be very beneficial. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about delayed cord clamping.
Collection of stem cells
Speaking of stem cells, if you’ll be banking your baby’s cord blood, it will be collected right after the umbilical cord is cut. Currently, stem cells from cord blood can be used in the treatment of over 80 diseases, and new procedures are constantly being researched. Americord, a leader in cord blood banking technology, has developed a unique system they call Cord Blood 2.0™ that allows for the collection of twice as many stem cells as the industry standard.
Tap here to request and information kit from Americord to learn more about cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking. These stem cells can only be captured during delivery, so you’ll want to have made plans for cord blood banking well before your due date.
Eyes and K
Many babies are given an antibacterial eye wash to ensure they didn’t pick up any harmful bacteria while passing through the vaginal canal. In the past, mercury was used for this procedure, but thankfully, the washes used today are considerably safer than that.
Baby is also likely to receive a shot of vitamin K in his or her upper thigh. Vitamin K is produced naturally by the body and helps with blood clotting. Baby’s liver can’t quite manufacture it on its own yet, so this precautionary injection is a good idea.
Taking a bit of blood
Sometime in the first five or ten minutes your doctor will take a small sample of blood from your baby. They’ll send it to the lab and run a number of tests – many states routinely test for up to thirty different diseases. When found at this early stage, there are a number of treatment options available which could prevent disabilities, organ damage, and blindness if any conditions are detected.
While it can be hard to allow your newborn to be poked with a needle, it’s worth it to know that they’re completely healthy.
Getting to know mom
This is perhaps the most important step of baby’s first minutes. More and more hospitals are recognizing how important it is to allow skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby in those first few precious moments. You’ll warm baby’s body with your own, regulate the little heartbeat with the rhythm of yours, make eye contact and start bonding. If mom’s feeling up for it, and once baby has been given the once over by doctor and nurse, you might even try a feeding.
The buildup to delivery is nine months of anticipation, resulting in ten minutes of feverish activity. Before the storm kicks up, take a moment to consider preserving your baby’s stem cells. Tap the button below to request an information kit from Americord, and industry leader in cord blood banking.
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