After birth, all babies undergo tests to prevent future problems. This process is called newborn screening and is important because a infant can look perfectly healthy but may need special treatment if certain conditions are found.
For example, a baby with hypothyroidism doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone and must be put on medication. Read on for more information about the newborn screening process and what your baby should be screened for.
When and How Babies Are Screened
According to the Center for Disease Control and Department Health all babies should be screened for the following:
- amino acid metabolic disorders
- organic acid metabolic disorders
- fatty acid oxidation disorders
- hemoglobinopathies (blood disorders)
- hearing loss
To perform these tests, a few drops of blood will be taken from the baby’ heel. Babies should be tested for hearing loss within one month of being born.
Some hospitals will test for a critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) but it is currently not included in every state’s screening process. Using pulse oximetry, a doctor can tell if a baby has CCHD before they show signs of the condition. If your baby tests positive for CCHD, you will be referred to a cardiologist for treatment.
Every baby born in a hospital should be screened before they go home with their family. Babies not born in a hospital, within a few days of being born.
What Prenatal Screening Results Mean
After testing, your baby will receive either a negative or positive test result. Negative means that the baby doesn’t show any signs of the condition. Positive, on the other hand, means that the baby will need further tests to determine an outcome. This doesn’t always mean that a baby has the condition but will be determined by the result of other tests.
For more information on the newborn screening process visit:
Free Round Rock Area Prenatal Classes
Let us get you ready for parenthood with our free prenatal classes. We cover information such as over-the-counter medications, immunizations, feeding schedules and more. Classes are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. or you can request a private appointment.