The moment I found out that I was pregnant, I started educating myself on as much as I could. I bought books, I searched message boards and websites, I took classes and I sought the advice of Moms who had been there, done that.
When you’re a Mom, any story you read in the news can hit you hard. There have been numerous news stories that I have read about sick babies that just hurts my heart. September is Newborn Awareness Month and thanks to Save Babies Through Screening Foundation and Baby’s First Test, more people are becoming aware of the tests that can save newborn lives.
What is a Newborn Screening?
Newborn screening is a state public health service that reaches each of the more than 4 million babies born in the United States every year. It ensures that all babies are screened for certain serious conditions at birth, and for those babies with the conditions, it allows doctors to start treatment before some of the harmful effects happen.
Newborn screening is performed soon after the birth of your baby, and in most cases, while you are still in the hospital. All it takes is a few drops of blood and a simple hearing test.
I know it is hard to think about your brand new baby experiencing any type of pain, but it’s worth it to screen for any serious conditions that your newborn could have. I’m all about better safe than sorry and having the knowledge to prepare yourself.
Newborn Screening Tests
- Hearing Test: There are two different types of simple, fast hearing tests that are typically done when your baby is asleep. This is to make sure the brain responds to sound and there are no hearing loss.
- Heel Prick Blood Test: Your baby’s heel will be pricked and a series of small circles on a piece of paper will be saturated with the blood. This is sent off to a lab to be analyzed. One issue with this aspect of newborn screening is that the tests are not processed fast enough–when a baby does have a detectable disorder, the sooner it is discovered, the better. Some states are making improvements in this process.
- Pulse Oximetry: “Pulse ox” is very easy, fast, inexpensive, and non-invasive. This is the little clip that gets placed on your finger to measure the oxygen in your blood. For a young child or infant, they will place it on the big toe and tape it there for a bit.
Find out which tests your state will perform. If you’re giving birth in a hospital, ask in advance about the tests that will be performed. If you’re giving birth in a birth center or at hone, just ask your midwife and they can direct you on where to go get the screenings done!
Connect via Social Media
One Foot at a Time…Save Babies Through Screening!