*Information was provided to share about Newborn Screening. Compensation was received.
Many parents may not know the importance of having your newborn screening done. Newborn Screening is a series of simple tests that can detect a variety of disorders in newborns. There’s a hearing test, heel prick blood test (often mistakenly called the “PKU”), and in some states the pulse oximeter.
Newborn Screening is recognized nationally as an essential preventive health measure. All individual states in the nation as well as the District of Columbia have established newborn screening programs. The conditions screened for by the program have varying degrees of severity. If identified early, many of these conditions can be treated before they cause serious health problems in your child. Treatment for metabolic disorders varies by the condition including close monitoring of a person’s health, medication, dietary supplements, and avoidance of fasting or special diets.
If you are having your baby in the hospital these tests are already done for you and your newborn! Minus the heal prick there is no discomfort to your newborn an you are screening her for some disorders that can possibly be treated.
With baby #4 due in four months I have already been thinking about how we will be doing the screening as we are planning a Birth Center birth. Luckily my midwife has all the resources for me and gives all of her expecting parents the information they need on which hospital to go to for the screening after baby is born.
Even if you are planning a Homebirth or Birth Center Birth having your newborn screening done is important and all you have to do is ask your midwife about it! Chances are she/he will bring it up to you! Some can do the screening and others will let you know where you can go to have it done. You may also be able to have the screening done right in your pediatrician’s office.
This September, take a moment to learn more about newborn screening and spread the word to another mom. Use Baby’s First Test and the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation as resources–their websites are both FILLED with statistics, information, how to get support, videos, and more.