The average duration of pregnancy is 40 weeks. A baby born after this
period weighs 2.8 kg. ( on an average ).
Any newborn with a birth weight of < 2.5 kg. is classified as a Low
Birth Weight Baby and needs special care.
Following are the characteristics of a normal newborn baby:
- Weight 2.5 3.5 kg.
- Length 50 cm.
- Head circumference 35 cm.
- Heart rate 120 140 per minute.
- Respiratory rates 30 40 per minute.
The normal baby may be slightly bluish in the extremities a short
while after birth but becomes pink within a few hours.
Urine is passed during birth or immediately after birth, but a vast
majority passes urine within the 24 hours.
The first stool, which the baby passes, is known as meconium, it is
black in color and is paste like. Meconium is passes within the first
day and the stools change to golden brown over the next 2 3 days.
The infant is normally ready for the feed within 3 4 hours after
birth and where ever possible should be put to the mothers breast.