Measurements – Initial Assessment of the Newborn (Nursing)

by Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler

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    00:01 Now, let's talk about measuring the baby.

    00:04 We're going to take several different dimensions.

    00:06 So let's break down each one.

    00:08 First, let's talk about the length.

    00:11 Now, I'm going to give you some numbers about average links.

    00:14 But I want you to know that when we talk about inches and centimeters, mathematically, they may not match up exactly.

    00:20 And you're going to find some differences between textbooks and unit policies.

    00:25 So these are general numbers, not exact.

    00:28 But in general, the length is going to be anywhere from 19 to 21 inches, this is normal, or 48 to 53 centimeters.

    00:37 And you're going to measure from the tip of the head all the way down to the heel, and that's going to give you the length.

    00:43 Next, we're going to measure the head circumference.

    00:45 So you're going to use again, a pliable tape measure, and you're going to wrap that tape measure around the baby's head right above the eyebrows.

    00:53 And the measurement that you typically will get for most babies is going to be somewhere between 12.5 inches to 14.5 inches, or 32.5 to 37.5 centimeters.

    01:06 Now remember, sometimes right after delivery, especially for a vaginal birth, the head may be slightly misshapen due to moulding.

    01:15 And so that may change the head circumference measurement.

    01:18 So you want to note that in your chart.

    01:20 Now let's talk about chest circumference.

    01:23 Chest circumference is going to be measured right above the nipple line.

    01:26 And you can expect that range to be somewhere between 12 and 13 inches, or 30 to 34 centimeters.

    01:33 You can also compare the head and chest circumference.

    01:37 And if you find that there's more than a two centimeter discrepancy, then that's something you want to investigate further to make sure that they're not any other complications.

    01:46 Now let's talk about weight.

    01:48 So this is going to be probably in every baby's baby book.

    01:52 This is a picture of the baby laying on the scale next to the weight.

    01:56 So typically, we report the weight to parents in pounds, but we always chart newborns weight in grams.

    02:04 So the normal gram is going to be somewhere between 2700 to 4000 grams, which equates to about six to nine pounds.

    02:13 So I'm hoping you remember our discussion about thermal regulation and know that before we placed the newborn on the scale, we're going to use some sort of protective covering a blanket or one of those measuring towels.

    02:27 Why do we do that? We're trying to protect the baby from loss of heat via...

    02:33 conduction. Very, very good.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Measurements – Initial Assessment of the Newborn (Nursing) by Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler is from the course Newborn Assessment (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 20 inches in length
    2. 14 inches head circumference
    3. 3,000 grams weight
    4. 6,000 grams weight
    5. 18 inches head circumference

    Author of lecture Measurements – Initial Assessment of the Newborn (Nursing)

     Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler

    Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler

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