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Examination of the Newborn

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Title: Examination of the Newborn

Author: Edited by Anne Lomax

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011

Reviewer: Dr. Jo Wilson, Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University


What was it like?

The book aims to focus on how good practice set against National Standards can improve consistency and contribute to improved clinical practice.  The book with its 13 chapters, written by experts in their fields, does this in a systematic way throughout the examination of the newborn infant through a very practical approach.  The chapters focus on family centred care with strong parent-child attachment and positive parenting with social and emotional well-being.  This is undertaken through a learning approach through the transition from birth and enhancing parenting skills and bonding.

The chapter on History Taking and the Newborn Examination is very systematic and easy to follow clearly linking the parent and neonatal observation and attachment, including Safeguarding Children.

The approach of clearly describing the development processes of the Heart and Lungs and Transition to Extrauterine Life followed by the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Assessment is excellent and really enhances knowledge and understanding.  Also the chapters covering the Dysplasia of the hip, foot abnormalities and abdomen and genitalia were all systematically well written.


It was great to see the chapter on chromosomal and genetic problems focusing on the fetal and baby development process with good feedback to parents being highlighted. This was followed by an interesting chapter on the Newborn behavioural aspects demonstrating great benefits to parents and practitioners.

I also enjoyed reading the Professional Issues in Practices linked to the newborn assessment reinforcing multidisciplinary working and collaboration in the provision of safe and effective outcomes for mothers and their babies.

What were the highlights?

The authors of the various chapters creatively manage to demonstrate evidence based practice through their systematic approaches which are in line with the Department of Health’s Healthy Child Programme and the UK National Screening Committee’s Newborn and Infant Physical Examination NIPE Standards and Competencies.  The edited chapters do come together well ensuring that the book does flow well without too much overlap.

Strengths and weaknesses?

The book is very well illustrated with tables, graphs, photographs and competencies.  Each chapter starts with key points and the book is well referenced clearly demonstrating the evidence base and areas for further reading including useful website addresses .  There are some areas of potential overlap but the Chapters are clearly cross-referenced and do help to further enhance knowledge.  Particular attention is given to various parts of the neonates body which may be frustrating to some healthcare professionals who use the book when the condition they require is not extensively covered.

Who should read it?

Midwives, Health Visitors, Neonatal Nurses, Junior Doctors and even some parents would benefit from and enjoy reading this book.

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