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Newborn hearing screen

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
For those of you that had homebirths, did you get a newborn hearing screen done? How soon after birth? Our ped is recommending it, thought I'd see what you all had done. Thanks!


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post #2 of 27

I didn't have a homebirth, but we don't stay in the hospital long enough after the birth to get all the stuff done.  We go in at 2 days pp to have the hearing screen and PKU test done.  I make sure to have them both on the same day!

post #3 of 27

I did for my last HB, I didn't bother for my previous one. I don't know know I did honestly, I got a letter from the state (not that I usually follow all the standard guidelines) and for some reason I wanted to. By the time I managed to schedule it though, he wasn't a newborn anymore so we ended up doing a regular hearing test. It did turn out out to be very beneficial, he does have speech issues and receives therapy so that was always the first thing I was asked, if he had a hearing screen. I can't say I will do the same for this baby, just depends how I feel about it then. 

post #4 of 27

OP- Congrats on your new baby and I LOVE her name!

 

I had a homebirth and didn't get it done. We took DD in for her one (and only) pedi appt at 2 months and it was offered and we declined.

post #5 of 27

To clarify my previous post, it's not something I would feel comfortable skipping.  Leah of Signing Time fame went undiagnosed profoundly deaf to the age of 18months because she didn't get the screening.  That's only one example, but it's absolutely harmless except for the time it takes.  Both my kids slept straight through it.

post #6 of 27

I've had 2 homebirths.  With DD1 (i had an NHS homebirth) it was done at the out-patients audiology clinic at the hospital my Ob worked at (i had MW care but Ob back-up, the UK called it obstetrician-supervised domino care at the time) when she was 4 weeks old.  It was no hassle, our appointment was on time, she nursed throughout the test and passed both ears.

 

With DD2 (i had an independent midwife but had also booked for Ob back-up at the same hospital JIC) i was referred by the Health Visitor (at my request) to the local children's hospital.  Unfortunately the referral took rather longer for some reason and i think she was more like 7 or 8 weeks old, but again, it came back pass on both ears and she nursed throughout, no distress or anything for anyone.

 

I would ask your MW/ped/GP about it and see how it's usually done.  Our PKU's were done on the 5th day, at home, by our midwives, and i would avoid doing the hearing test then purely because it's nice to be deciding when you want to first venture out with your newborn yourself, and not be pushed to do it for a medical thing which, though important, can certainly wait a few weeks safely.

post #7 of 27

I haven't, and I'm not going to go out of my way to do it. he startles to noises and calms to my voice, so I'm not worried about his hearing. 

post #8 of 27
I had it done and the PKU done about a month after birth. I got a letter and call from the state saying I needed it(really the PKU) done. I just made an appointment at the health department and it was quick and painless.
post #9 of 27
I wouldn't skip the hearing test, even if baby seems to be hearing fine. My baby brother as a small child appeared to hear just fine. We didn't find out until he was nearly five, and had a heck of a time managing in preschool and kindy, that he had some subtle hearing loss, and it made it very difficult for him to function in a group environment. He went through six months of total bewilderment before somebody tuned in to the problem, and recommended that we have his hearing checked. Hearing loss can be subtle, and can cause language delays and delays in phonological awareness that can be difficult to overcome. And the test is free, and risk-free, and causes baby no discomfort. I can't imagine refusing it.

That said-- I don't think it needs to be done in the immediate post-partum period. If I was homebirthing, I'd probably shoot for within a month.
post #10 of 27

We had it done -- maybe a few weeks or a month after the homebirth? I can't remember exactly. It was super easy and painless, and it seemed to me that in a pro-con analysis, when there are almost no cons (time) and the pros can be so huge, it seemed well worth it.

post #11 of 27

I think my DS was tested at 4 or 6 weeks. The midwife lugged the testing kit to my place to test him. Bless her!

post #12 of 27

I wouldnt skip it for nothing....my  now 11yo did not have it done at birth and she has permanent hearing loss that we did not pick up until she was 5 yo and she has been in speech since kindergarten. She also wears hearing aids. It's a very important non invasive test! I would love to know if she was born with the hearing loss or she lost it during her baby years....she did have pneumonia 3 times one winter and were left not knowing when the loss accured.

post #13 of 27

We had a homebirth and had DS's ears checked sometime in the latter part of his first month.  Our MW recommended it. 

post #14 of 27
We did it with our first but it was a bit of a nightmare--treated rather like oddities at our local hospital (we had a HB but had a referral from a FP doctor to do the test), then miscoding the test so we had a runaround to have it paid by insurance.

I don't know if we'd do it with subsequent babies or not based on that experience; the test itself was quick and harmless, but I hated the process (not that that has anything to do with the test itself, of course!). I will certainly do my research on how helpful/accurate the test is next time, but we are also in a new state so I would have other hospital options for the test.

In summary--quick, painless, probably worth doing, but maybe not in the immediate postpartum time at a hospital that has no idea what to do with a homebirthed babe!
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by trauerweidchen View Post

We did it with our first but it was a bit of a nightmare--treated rather like oddities at our local hospital (we had a HB but had a referral from a FP doctor to do the test), then miscoding the test so we had a runaround to have it paid by insurance.

In summary--quick, painless, probably worth doing, but maybe not in the immediate postpartum time at a hospital that has no idea what to do with a homebirthed babe!


Same here.  The audiologist was really sweet and waited for me to nurse DS until he was a bit more settled.  The staff was as you described in your experience.  I really don't care at all what others think in that regards.  I feel that they just do not get it, KWIM?

 


Edited by goldenwillow - 4/25/11 at 1:27pm
post #16 of 27

Yes, I would just ask your Pediatrician about the testing. 

 

 

AND YES/Ditto to Twinklefae on the importance of having your infant's hearing checked. My girlfriend just had a baby in Feb. She failed the one in the hospital and they asked her to come back to retest. She felt it was probably not necessary because the baby startled at noises and obviously could hear their voices. BUT...they decided to go. Baby failed second test. So, Doc still felt that everything was fine, but had them go to specialist for a final test. It was then discovered that baby has hearing loss. She can't hear the lowest of sounds and that while she CAN hear noises, and voices, she will have problems with her speech because of her hearing  loss. Now that it has been detected so early, she has been given a wealth of resources, have access to early intervention, and most probably not have the speech difficulties she would have if it had gone undetected. 

 

 

Short story....it doesn't hurt the child to be tested, but can hurt the child if a hearing loss, no matter how slight, goes undetected. 

post #17 of 27

I wasn't able to have a homebirth but without the newborn hearing test my daughter might have not been diagnosed with hearing loss for years.  Please consider getting it done.  It should be quick and painless, like 5 minutes.

post #18 of 27

We homebirthed and had a hearing test done at our health department. Our midwives referred us to the screening program, so they called us to schedule the appointment. I think we went when DD was something like 2-3 weeks old.

 

The test took, like, 3 minutes. DD slept through the entire thing. The biggest hassle about the whole thing for us was the fact that I had to pay for 2 hours minimum parking in the parking lot at the audiology clinic's building for a 10 minute total visit. I know that the newborn screening is the fastest and easiest way to gain access to any resources that you might need in case of a hearing loss, and for that reason alone, we did it, despite being pretty darned sure that DD could hear us fine. 

 

I honestly don't see why whether or not you homebirthed should even come up at all, aside from possible billing/insurance purposes. 

 

post #19 of 27

After reading this thread DH and I decided to have our 13 month old DS have his hearing tested. (fyi - He did not have a newborn screening as I had a home birth and we just didn't do it then.) We just had the appt this morning. The test for us was not quick and easy - not sure why we're having a different experience than others, but that's how it was for us. The whole thing was a battery of tests (like 4 different ones) and took about 45 minutes. Because they were sticking things in his ears, which he was not happy about, he cried a lot, lost it and would not cooperate. Hence we need to go back next week. Which we are going to do. From what they could tell, his hearing within normal ranges is fine. But beyond that it was too much for him and any further testing would have been inconclusive. I should also add that we needed a prescription from our doctor to do this as the appointment was with an audiologist who specializes in this kind of thing. 

 

So all this to say i'm not sure why our experience was so different from everyone else here - maybe b/c he's older? though the audiologist said not necessarily as newborns can be just as difficult. maybe this is a more extensive test? I really don't know. headscratch.gif

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaofLiam View Post

So all this to say i'm not sure why our experience was so different from everyone else here - maybe b/c he's older? though the audiologist said not necessarily as newborns can be just as difficult. maybe this is a more extensive test? I really don't know. headscratch.gif


When my kids had it done, as newborns, I was asked to nurse them into a deep sleep. Then they did it, and the whole thing only took a few minutes. Could it be, perhaps, that they did a more thorough screen than they would have during the routine newborn check? My DD1 had a detailed repeat hearing exam by an audiologist, when she was nine months old, and it was long and involved. (We had it because she wasn't reaching normal milestones for things like babbling.) I think the newborn screen is simpler.
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