As I mentioned in my prior post regarding newborn screening, simple action on the part of the parent can lead to saving your baby's life. I went into the hospital this time around with the knowledge of the various tests.
As soon as Mason was born I immediately inquired about pulse ox testing. Thankfully, (according to two nurses) Mason didn't show the signs to be tested (i.e. color) but the nurse did offer the test if I so wanted. I gratefully declined. However, many nurses share a common misconception that heart babies will have visible symptoms. Truth is they often don't, that's why pulse ox is important. Kristine of Cora's Story wrote this amazing article regarding such misconception.
The first test Mason had was the heel stick test. This was a bit traumatic although I remember Kenzie going through the same. First the nurse gave Mason a pacifier with a bit of sugar to keep him happy before the test. After icing the heel, they prick it and squeeze out blood onto paper circles (about 30 different conditions are tested). Mason was a trooper. He cried a bit but kept sucking the pacifier. The results haven't come back yet but I pray that he is healthy.
The next test was the hearing test. This wasn't painful to Mason but more bothersome because of all the electrodes on his head, back, neck and the earphones with the super sticky tape. The results were shown on the monitor and he passed with flying colors! The worst part of the test was taking the earphones off :)
The tests are not harmful to your child and could potentially save their lives. Make sure to inquire if they offer the tests at your hospital because they may not mention it if it is not required by state. To see what conditions are screened by each state click here. I was lucky that all three tests were available when Mason was born.
It is heartbreaking to hear stories of people who could have saved their babies if they had the knowledge of newborn screening. However, it is inspiring to hear of those parents who are now advocates of newborn screening and getting the information out there to parents who are unaware of the testing, just like Kristine of Cora's Story.
Please visit the following site for more information:
I am a Baby’s First Test Blogger Ambassador and am supported by the Baby’s First Test project. Baby’s First Test is funded through a coöperative agreement with the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA), Grant no. U36MC16509, Quality Assessment of the Newborn Screening System.