- Newborn are examined soon after birth to identify any obvious visible unexpected features or abnormalities and to reassure parents. In home delivery, the midwive or nurse in attendance at the birth usually conducts the initial newborn examination.
- When the health provider like the nurse or midwive perform this assessment in the presence of the mother and family members, it provides an opportunity for the family members to ask questions about the newborn and the health provider to provide health teachings and anticipatory guidance.
- Assessment of the newborn, as in the adult, should proceed in a systematic manner, that is, from head to toe using the cephalocaudal method finishing with neurologic examination.
- Assess the newborn’s attitude and position of flexion first. It should be better to perform the examinations that would tend to upset the infant last so that the infant would be relaxed and quiet during most part of the procedure.
- Assess the neonate in a warm and well-lit environment. Cooler environments stress the newborn and this can lead to inaccurancies in assessment. Incorrect findings may be made if the newborn is found to look blue, have bradycardia or cold hands and feet due to a hypothermic environment.
- Undress only the part of the body to be examined to prevent heat loss.
- Before assessment, thorough hand washing should be performed by the examiner to prevent the risk of cross-infection. In addition, the newborn should be handled with gloves until after the first bath.
Taken from: Infant Care and Feeding 2nd Edition
Maria Loreto Evangelista-Sia, 2008