Transition from Fetus to Newborn

Key Points

• A separate provider trained in neonatal care and resuscitation should be present and responsible only for the infant during every delivery.

• The ABC principles of neonatal resuscitation are airway, breathing, and circulation.

• The Apgar score should not be used as a substitution for assessing the ABCs in neonatal resuscitation.

• Resuscitation efforts should not be delayed or interrupted to assign an Apgar score.

• Routine endotracheal intubation and tracheal suction do not prevent meconium aspiration syndrome and may harm the vigorous infant.

During the first hours after delivery, the newborn must adapt to extrauterine life. This adaptation includes a highly coordinated series of physiologic changes during which the infant is particularly vulnerable. Health care providers trained to assess and manage newborns should be available during the delivery and immediate neonatal transition period for all infants.

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