The newborn should undergo a thorough physical examination during the first 24 hours of life. Inspection occurs before physical contact is made with the infant because once the neonate is touched and disturbed he may become agitated resulting in a guarded posture, increased respiratory and temperament changes.
The initial inspection would mostly be about the newborn’s attitude and position, body proportions, ease of movement, respiratory effort, presence of gross anomalies and color. Breech born babies may have extended legs. Premature infants have frog-legs (they do not flex their legs well), and brow born babies may arch heir back. Generally, the normal posture of the newborn is one of complete flexion as a result of the position it has assumed during its entire stay inside the mother’s womb.
During inspection, it is important to note the appearance of any dysmorphic features in the newborn. Dysmorphic features are those abnormal findings that can be measured and characterized such as cleft lip, missing limb or spina bifida. A finding of three or more dysmorphic features usually indicates a need for chromosome analysis.
Taken from: Infant Care and Feeding 2nd Edition
By Maria Loreto Evangelista-Sia