Okay, so that isn't really how to say it, but it is way more fun, right?
APGAR really has nothing to do with pirates.
(I know... what a bubble burst, right?!)
You may have heard the word before though
or perhaps you've heard those numbers called out after your birth,
so what exactly is APGAR?
It was originally created by a woman named Dr Virgina Apgar
who was an American pediatric anesthesiologist.
She pioneered the development of neonatology and created the APGAR score system.
APGAR is an acronym:
A- Appearance / American
P- Pulse Rate / Pediatric
G- Grimace / Gross
A- Activity / Assessment
R- Respiration / Record
Your baby's APGAR score is based on a numbering system from 0-10.
Each letter is assessed on a scale from 0 (the lowest) to 2 (the highest),
then added together to come up with the actual APGAR score
(or the number you may hear them call out).
You can view a APGAR scale chart by clicking HERE
They typically do an assessment after birth at 1 minute and 5 minutes.
The 1min score is to assess how the baby tolerated labor.
The 5min score is to assess how well the baby is tolerating life outside.
(Sometimes they will need to continue doing assessments in 5 minute intervals,
if the score is lower than a 7 to keep record and checking on how the baby is coping outside)
Does a lower score mean my baby is doing badly?
NOT necessarily at all.
This can mean all sorts of things;
Lots of times it just means your baby just needs a little bit more time to adjust to the world.
If you do hear a lower score:
Ask how your baby is doing and try to remain calm.
Talk to your birth doula and have your partner head over to check on the baby;
The midwives, OB/GYNs, and nursing staff really know their stuff
and often it is just an adjustment period!
Essentially, APGAR is a really easy way for health care professionals
to quickly asses how your baby is doing.
So, even though you know for sure now that APGAR really has nothing to do with pirates,
you're still welcome to say
any time you'd like a little smile!
(Because seriously, who doesn't like talking like a pirate for fun once and a while?)
Jessica Anne Dill