Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newborn Tests

With the baby coming supposedly sometime in the next month, I think I'd better be looking into the newborn screening test.

I found this website that seems to be from a somewhat midwife point of view. The writer recommends, "I would choose to have the heelstick done to collect blood for the newborn screen only if the heelstick can be done humanely. This is ideally a heelstick done at day 6 by someone who is willing to take the time to warm the baby's heel and wait for the baby to be in a sleepy state so that the experience of pain is minimized." The writer also recommends feeding the baby prior to the prick.

Even with the tests, not all babies who are affected are diagnosed:

The American Academy of Pediatricians states that: "screening does not equate with diagnosis. Some infants with disorders included in the newborn screening battery will be missed, even when properly screened, due to individual or biological variations. Other infants may be missed due to administrative or laboratory error. Although the pediatrician cannot be held responsible for these problems, he or she must recognize that any child with a negative newborn screening test may still be affected by one of those disorders. The pediatrician should trust his or her clinical judgment, even in the face of a normal newborn screening report, and should carry out appropriate diagnostic testing if indicated by clinical signs and symptoms."

In going over the test for PKU, it would seem that our midwife can just get the blood from the cord, which I think would be fine as the baby won't feel it.

I was hoping to get input from all you parents out there. If you have any sources you found helpful in making decisions, please let me know as well.

4 comments:

Gombojav Tribe said...

If the baby has not yet had any milk proteins (which Junior won't until your milk comes in) it is useless to test for PKU, which is an inability to process milk proteins. The test would most likely have to be repeated at the first pediatrician visit.

Flo Oakes said...

After Amelie's home birth, I brought her to my midwife to get the PKU test the next week.
She did the heel stick.

Milehimama said...

The PKU heelstick must be done again after the baby is a few days old. Most states test for a wide variety of metabolic disorders.
The heelstick is relatively minor - the baby hates it, of course! But the consequences of not being screened - not being aware of a possible danger to your children - are far worse, especially because most of these disorders can be treated simply (in the case of PKU, by avoiding eating phenalynine for several years).

We got the heelstick, but my babies don't get the Hep B vaccine. It's all about benefit vs. risk.

Mama Says

Mrs. and Mama Knifton said...

My sister-in-law wrote:

Hi, Heather,

I am responding to your blog question about the "heel prick" for your baby. My comment is "why." Why, if you have trusted God thus far and you, yourself, are refraining from the RF (?) shot, would you want to have to baby pricked to see if the doctors may or may not come up with something wrong with him or her? And the heel prick results are not even 100% accurate. So my thought is to forego it. Don't succumb to the stress that it could cause if something comes back positive. Keep trusting God to take care of your little one! :)

So those are my thoughts,
Mel