What is the best way to determine heart rate in the newly born infant?
The best way to determine the heart rate of the newly born is by auscultation of the precordial pulse. If a pulse is detected, then palpation of the umbilical pulse is more accurate than other sites and gives a rapid estimate of the pulse while other interventions may be taking place.
Owen CJ, Wyllie JP: Determination of heart rate in the baby at birth. Resuscitation 2004;60(2):213-217.