Having a baby born with a medical condition or a gene that could trigger a condition is scary. Not knowing about your baby’s condition is even scarier. That’s why newborn screening is so important—even lifesaving. We’ve teamed up with Save Babies Through Screening Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for newborn screening, to spread the word.
In the U.S., every baby is screened for some conditions. The number of conditions varies by state, but each baby should have the opportunity to be screened. As moms, we are our baby’s advocate, so it’s important to at least be familiar with screening.
Sometimes babies fall through the cracks. Make sure to ask your doctor about newborn screening and to check to make sure it was done. Depending on your state and hospital, your baby could have up to three different types of screening: the heel prick, which takes a small dab of your baby’s blood; hearing screening to test your newborn’s hearing; and the newborn heart screen, or pulse oximetry test.
Don’t leave the hospital without asking about newborn screening. When you get home, call and ask the doctor’s office about the screening results at two weeks. Never assume no news means good news. Sometimes results get left sitting in files. The earlier your baby is diagnosed with a condition, the better her chances of fighting the condition will be. Many of these conditions are treatable, if diagnosed in time.
Newborn screening is something easy to take for granted during the craziness of the postpartum days, but take a few moments to read up on it. Put it on your to-do list and birth plan.
Save Babies Through Screening Foundation has resources to help pregnant families learn more about newborn screening.
Sign up for their newsletter today to stay up-to-date on the latest screening news and recommendations.
Disclosure: We are paid Save Babies Through Screening Foundation Blogging Ambassadors. However, we feel so strongly about newborn screening that we are donating 100% of the payment to further the mission!