September marks National Newborn Screening Awareness Month, emphasizing the importance of testing even healthy-looking babies for serious conditions prior to leaving the hospital.
As a leading prenatal provider, with offices in Colts Neck and Freehold, Healthy Woman OB/GYN encourages parents to learn the facts, and benefits, to screening newborns before coming home for the first time.
But what is newborn screening? What does it involve? And what exactly are physicians looking for?
Newborn screening is a simple blood test each newborn infant undergoes that tests for a variety of conditions that might not appear at birth, but can cause permanent or long term problems.
The screening process is very simple, and is completed by a nurse before leaving the hospital. A nurse pricks the heel of the infant and takes a few drops of blood, which will be used to test for 54 different types of conditions that can cause serious health issues.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources and the CDC, all babies are required by law, unless petitioned by the parents, to be screened for amino acid metabolic disorders, organic acid metabolic disorders, fatty acid oxidation disorders, hemoglobinopathies (blood disorders), and other health issues such as hearing loss and jaundice.
Testing for these conditions early can make a huge difference for a child. The best way to protect your infant is to know exactly what to protect them from – and newborn screening can help.
If you have questions about newborn screening and the conditions tested for in New Jersey, please contact Healthy Woman OB/GYN and set up your next appointment.