Gestational Assessment

Assessing your baby's physical maturity is an important part of her care. Maturity assessment is helpful in meeting your baby's needs if the dates of a pregnancy are uncertain. For example, a very small baby may actually be more mature than he appears by her size, and may need different care than a premature baby.

Examinations are important ways to learn about your baby's well-being at birth. By identifying any problems, your baby's physician can plan the best possible care.

  • The physical maturity part of the examination is done in the first two hours after your baby is born.

  • The neuromuscular maturity examination is completed within 24 hours after delivery.

An examination called the Dubowitz/Ballard Examination for Gestational Age is often used to evaluate your baby's appearance, skin texture, motor function and reflexes. Your baby's gestational age can often be closely estimated using this examination.