What is APGAR?

By Published On: January 29th, 2010

The Apgar is your baby’s first test, taken one minute after birth and again at five minutes. It helps the doctors and nurses accurately gauge the health of a newborn. Even though it got its name back in 1952 from Dr. Virginia Apgar, a noted anesthesiologist, those letters in the name have another meaning as well.
A – Appearance (color)
P – Pulse (heartbeat)
G – Grimace (reflex)
A – Activity (muscle tone)
R – Respiration
In all five areas the baby is scored from 0 to 2, making the grand total a baby can achieve on an Apgar a 10. Babies who receive a six and over are considered in very good health; babies who score between four and six might need an extra bit of attention; and babies who score under four require immediate and extreme attention. But don’t stress—even babies who score low on the Apgar usually grow up to be healthy and happy.