Sunday, March 28, 2010

study up on the metabolic screening test for your newborn...

this is one of those things that your nurse at the hospital or, in the case of a home birth, your pediatrician over the phone busts out in the first few days of your baby's life.  and, um, there is not much space for doing a quick research session on your newborn's metabolic screening in the first couple of days of new motherhood.  you have to do the test by the 6th day, so you may want to look into it ahead of time.

the newborn metabolic screening is a test where the baby's heel is pricked and the blood is sent to a lab for the testing of certain metabolic diseases.  ask your doctor which diseases your baby will be tested for, and if testing positive, what the next step is.  you have the option in some states to opt out of the test.  this is a HIGHLY controversial move.  but, often the solution to a positive test result is breastfeeding.  so if you intend to breastfeed anyway, then heelprick or no heelprick, the test would be moot in my opinion.  it would be imperative that you follow a low-phenylalinine diet if you opt out of the test.  read more about the pku screening here.

photo via here.

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