Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

725 Welch Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304

Physical exam of the newborn in the delivery room
A brief, physical exam is done to check for obvious signs that the baby is healthy. Other procedures will be done over the next few minutes and hours. These may be done in the delivery room, in the nursery, or in your room, depending on the hospital policy and the condition of the baby. Some of these procedures include:

Measurement of the temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate

Measurement of weight, length, and head circumference. These measurements help find out if a baby’s weight and measurements are normal for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Small or underweight babies and very large babies may need special attention and care.

Cord care. The baby’s umbilical cord stump will have a clamp. It needs to be kept clean and dry.

Bath. Once a baby’s temperature has stabilized, the first bath can be given.

Eye care. Bacteria in the birth canal can infect a baby’s eyes. Your baby will be given antibiotic or antiseptic eye drops or ointment either right after delivery or later in the nursery to prevent eye infection.

Footprints. These are often taken and recorded in the medical record.

Before a baby leaves the delivery area, ID bracelets with matching numbers are placed on the baby and on you. Babies often have 2, on the wrist and ankle. These should be checked each time the baby comes or goes from your room.