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Baby's First Appearance
First Appearance!

When your baby is born, you’ll probably expect beautiful pink skin and a round little face. Don’t be surprised if he or she doesn’t live up to your expectations. Your baby may have patches of a cheesy substance called vernix caseosa, a protective covering in the womb. The skin may also look wrinkly from being submerged in amniotic fluid for nine months and have patches of light hair on his or her body called lanugo.

You may be surprised to see your baby’s head looks like a cone instead of a perfect round head. This is normal and actually nature’s way of solving the problem of getting something bigger than your birth canal out into the world.

The baby’s skull bones aren’t fused together yet, and those bones are able to move to accommodate the shape and size of your birth canal. All of this is normal, and within a few days of birth your baby will begin to adjust to the outside world and begin to look like the pink cherub you envision.

First Tests—What Is the APGAR? 
It may sound scary that your baby is ‘tested’ right from birth, but it’s actually a harmless process doctors use to assess how your baby is adjusting to the outside world. Called the “APGAR,” this test is used to evaluate your baby’s initial vital signs and appearance at birth, and then again in five minutes after birth.

The baby’s skin/appearance, heart rate, respiration and muscle tone and response to the outside world are given a score of zero, one or two, with the maximum of ten points given. The average score is seven, so don’t be disappointed or worried if your baby isn’t a perfect ten.

Even a score of between four and six isn’t a big concern. Your baby needs extra help breathing in the beginning. The doctor may suction his or her nose and air way, massage the chest or even administering oxygen. However, a score of less than three means your baby may need intensive life-saving measures.

General Introduction to Pregnancy
Your Changing Body + Pregnancy
Your Baby’s Development
Potential Pregnancy Complications
Labor and Delivery
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General Introduction to Parenting
Child Nutrition
Childcare and Education
Sleep in the Early Years
Baby Milestones
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