I gave birth to my baby a month ago, and I saw that my son’s APGAR was 8 and then 9. I don’t know what these numbers mean. Can you give me more information? Thanks for all your help, Éloise

Hello Éloise,

Your baby had an excellent score after delivery. APGAR is a way to calculate the observations of your baby by the doctor after they are born.

The acronym means Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance and Respiration.

To evaluate your baby’s health, the doctor will examine these five important parameters, one minute, five minutes, and if needed, 10 minutes after they are born:

  •       Heartbeat (absent to more than 100 beats/minute)
  •       Breathing rate (missing to irregular breathing and good crying)
  •       Skin colour (white, blue, gray or pink)
  •       Muscle tone (from general hypotonia to weak to good limb tone)
  •       Reactivity to stimulation (from none to strong crying)

The doctor will attribute a number from 0-2 for each parameter, a perfect score being 10/10. The elements are calculated at 1 minute of life and another at 5 minutes of life. Sometimes, the doctor will do the calculation again at 10 minutes if the baby’s condition was more precarious at birth. In principle, the result at 5 minutes should be identical (if good at 1 minute) or higher (if lower at 1 minute) than at 1 minute.

A baby doesn’t need a perfect score to be judged healthy! A score of 7 or more is very good and means they will be cared for in the usual way. If a baby has an APGAR score under 7, they will get more attention. Sometimes medical or emergency procedures may be necessary (for example respiratory assistance), at least for a short period.

In light of this Éloise, your baby showed good results after they were born, indicating they were fine. So congratulations! I hope this answers your question.

Talk soon,


The Baby Expert 

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