Neonatology Book

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Newborn Reflexes

Aka: Newborn Reflexes, Primitive Stepping Reflex, Rooting Reflex, Moro Reflex, Startle Reflex
  1. Exam: Foot
    1. Stroke Inner Sole
      1. Toes curl around ("grasp") examiner's finger
    2. Stroke Outer Sole (Babinski)
      1. Toes spread, great toe dorsiflexion
  2. Exam: Doll's Eyes
    1. Give one forefinger to each hand - baby grasps both
      1. Pull baby to sitting with each forefinger
    2. Eyes open on coming to sitting (Like a Doll's)
      1. Head initially lags
      2. Baby uses Shoulders to right head position
  3. Exam: Primitive Stepping (Walking Reflex)
    1. Hold baby up with one hand across chest
    2. As feet touch ground, baby makes walking motion
  4. Exam: Protective Reflex
    1. Soft cloth is placed over the babies eyes and nose
    2. Baby arches head and turns head side to side
    3. Brings both hands to face to swipe cloth away
  5. Exam: Rooting Reflex
    1. Touch newborn on either side of cheek
    2. Baby turns to find Breast
    3. Sucking Mechanism on finger is divided into 3 steps
      1. Front of Tongue laps on finger
      2. Back of Tongue massages middle of the finger
      3. Esophagus pulls on tip of finger
  6. Exam: Tonic Neck (Fencing) Reflex
    1. If the Babies' head is rotated leftward
      1. The left arm (face side) stretches into extension
      2. The right arm flexes up above head
    2. Opposite reaction if head is rotated rightward
  7. Exam: Moro Reflex (Startle Reflex)
    1. Hold supine infant by arms a few inches above bed
      1. Gently drop infant back to elicit startle
    2. Baby throws Arms out in extension and baby grimaces
  8. Exam: Hand-to-Mouth (Babkin) Reflex
    1. Stroke newborns cheek or put finger in babies palm
    2. Baby will bring his fist to mouth and suck a finger
  9. Exam: Swimmer's (Gallant) Response
    1. Hold baby prone while supporting belly with hand
      1. Stroke along one side of babies' spine
    2. Baby flexes whole body toward the stroked side
  10. Exam: Crawling Reflex
    1. Newborn placed on Abdomen
    2. Baby flexes legs under him and starts to crawl

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