Apgar Score – The Vital Assessment For Your Baby

What is Apgar Score? The Apgar score (scale) is recognized around the world for an assessment of the state of health of the newborn. Apgar — is a surname of an American anesthesiologist who offered this scale.

Virginia Apgár (born Virginia Apgar; June 7, 1909 – 7 August 1974) – American anesthetist in obstetrics. The author of the famous Apgar scale.

The assessment of your baby on the Apgar scale will be carried out the first five minutes after the birth, and you will find it in an extract from the maternity hospital file. Something like this will be written: “8 points by Apgar at birth”

 Apgar sign2 points1 point0 points
(skin color)
Normal color all over (hands and feet are pink)Normal color (but hands and feet are bluish)Bluish-gray or pale all over
(heart rate)
Normal (above 100 beats per minute)Below 100 beats per minuteAbsent
(no pulse)
(“reflex irritability”)
Pulls away, sneezes coughs or cries with stimulationFacial movement only (grimace) with stimulationAbsent (no response to stimulation)
(muscle tone)
Active, spontaneous movementsArms and legs flexed with little movementNo movement, “floppy” tone
(breathing rate and effort)
Normal rate and effort, a good crySlow or irregular breathing, weak cryAbsent (no breathing)

Read more about the Infant Reflexes: Babkin, Babinsky & Moro Reflexes

Activity reflex excitability — an expression of reflexes. The reflex — is an involuntary reaction to external irritants.


“Reaction is poorly expressed” — means reaction to standard medical manipulation: suction of phlegm by a slime catheter from the nasal courses.

Respiration. Hypoventilation — the superficial and (or) slowed-down breath leading to the shortage of oxygen.

Apparently from the table, five main signs of health (illness) of the newborn are estimated on a three-point system: receive 0, 1, or 2 points. The maximum score is 10.

In some maternity hospitals, there is a practice of a double assessment of the condition of the newborn — for example, right after birth (the first minute) and after 5 minutes. At such assessment, the record has the following form: “7/8 (or 7–8) by Apgar”.

If the newborn got more than 7 points, he is healthy. The assessment of 3 points and less testifies to a critical condition of the baby.

At giving birth you may hear the medical staff announce the Apgar score. Sometimes just the numbers. If you missed the announcement – you may ask the obstetrician or the assistant to repeat the scores for you. Thus, you make sure your baby is fine. I wish your babies to have 10 of 10!