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#1 of 27 Old 03-10-2010, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! You all have had so much information for me! Thank you so much! I have just a few questions!

What is the point of footprinting? I know they did it to my kids in the hospital, but what do you need it for? Is it just for you to keep or for records?

For those that Do the newborn screen/vaccines, how did you get the stuff for that? In Tucson, AZ, they gave me all that before leaving the hospital. I didnt have the screen done there, but they gave me the kit to take to a lab, as well as my shot record to take to my ped. Do you think the country health department would have it or my ped? I think I am going to have to ask!

We are not pregnant yet, but are hoping to be Oct this year! This will be our 3rd and a UHBA2C!! I hope I get my dream birth!
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#2 of 27 Old 03-10-2010, 11:16 PM
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you'll just have to call the health department and ask. PA's health department was useless and no one would screen the kid, so we ended up not doing it. the hospital wouldn't do it because "it should have been done already for you at the birth." when i said i had a homebirth, they said "the midwife should have done it." i said "she didn't, can i have it done?" and they said that she should have.

calling the health department was a similar circle. so, we ended up not doing newborn screening.

as for vax, and ped should be able to do that no problem.
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#3 of 27 Old 03-11-2010, 12:55 PM
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The footprinting is just for fun, but you can buy a disposable footprinter on any birth/midwifery supply website.
With my first UC (second baby) I had our pediatrician do the newborn screen. This time around I am going to do it myself, you can order a testing kit online.
Your ped. or family doctor can do the vaxes if you choose to do them.
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#4 of 27 Old 03-13-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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footprint is just for personal record / baby book as far as i know.

after ds2 was born we made a ped apt and they did the PKU test and hearing test for us also did a quick check to make sure he looked good. No prob just explained we had him at home ourselves.

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#5 of 27 Old 03-13-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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Footprinting is for memories. We never did it! I put it off until one day her foot was too big for the special card.

I made the mistake of not learning enough about the PKU. I thought we were legally required in my state, and I was worried that an UC plus an exemption would put us on the radar. So we decided to do it. We simply asked the front desk at the hospital and they directed us to the area that does it. I filled out the paperwork and then I watched a long, violent and gruesome scene that in my new mother mind made me think "WTH did I even bother with a HB?" Sorry, it still bothers me to this day and we're doing things differently with babe #2.

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#6 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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...then I watched a long, violent and gruesome scene that in my new mother mind made me think "WTH did I even bother with a HB?" Sorry, it still bothers me to this day and we're doing things differently with babe #2.
not to thread highjack but isnt the PKU test? just a foot prick ? ours was...

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#7 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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not to thread highjack but isnt the PKU test? just a foot prick ? ours was...
When my second had her PKU test they had to prick her more than once and squeeze her foot REALLY hard for a long time trying to get enough blood. Then they came back the next day to do it again She screamed her poor little head off and I wanted to punch the tech who did it. I won't have a PKU test for any more of my babies after watching that, it's just absurd to assume that something is wrong and treat the babies like that

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#8 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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When my second had her PKU test they had to prick her more than once and squeeze her foot REALLY hard for a long time trying to get enough blood. Then they came back the next day to do it again She screamed her poor little head off and I wanted to punch the tech who did it. I won't have a PKU test for any more of my babies after watching that, it's just absurd to assume that something is wrong and treat the babies like that
There's actually a lot to doing a heel stick - and it's definitely not something that an lay person or newer phlebotomist ought to attempt. I've no doubt the reason they wanted to do it again was because the first sample was hemolyzed or clotted, or if they did the blot paper it was filled out incorrectly.

Seriously people, heel sticks are a medical procedure. Please do not try to do them yourself, you can cause nerve damage and there can be issues with samples that lead to more pricks and more pain for your baby. If you want the test done have it done by a professional.

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#9 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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When my second had her PKU test they had to prick her more than once and squeeze her foot REALLY hard for a long time trying to get enough blood. Then they came back the next day to do it again She screamed her poor little head off and I wanted to punch the tech who did it. I won't have a PKU test for any more of my babies after watching that, it's just absurd to assume that something is wrong and treat the babies like that
another reason not to routinely administer vit k............it makes getting a good sample very difficult for many babies. i know that was my exp with dd. had a hb, i ok'ed oral vit k, and when my mw came on the home visit to do the pku, it was really hard to get the blood flowing.
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#10 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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That's exactly what I thought when they were sqeezing her little foot so much They gave her VitK to make her blood clot just the day before and then they tried to take blood via heel prick the next and had trouble getting it out...... duh. I hate it that they don't take the pain the baby experiences into consideration when they do their medical procedures.

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#11 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 12:15 PM
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There's actually a lot to doing a heel stick - and it's definitely not something that an lay person or newer phlebotomist ought to attempt. I've no doubt the reason they wanted to do it again was because the first sample was hemolyzed or clotted, or if they did the blot paper it was filled out incorrectly.

Seriously people, heel sticks are a medical procedure. Please do not try to do them yourself, you can cause nerve damage and there can be issues with samples that lead to more pricks and more pain for your baby. If you want the test done have it done by a professional.
I assume this was aimed at me since I suggested it. As someone with 2+ yrs. as an apprentice midwife, who has done routine newborn screens, I will be doing it on my new one myself and honestly, I don't think it'd be too hard for someone who has never done it before. There are detailed instructions available on every state's website on how to administer the test. It'd certainly be preferable to not doing it at all.
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#12 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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I assume this was aimed at me since I suggested it. As someone with 2+ yrs. as an apprentice midwife, who has done routine newborn screens, I will be doing it on my new one myself and honestly, I don't think it'd be too hard for someone who has never done it before. There are detailed instructions available on every state's website on how to administer the test. It'd certainly be preferable to not doing it at all.
Why is it preferable to not doing it at all in your opinion?

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#13 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 07:52 PM
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Why is it preferable to not doing it at all in your opinion?
Many of the things that it screens for, if detected, can be corrected for and have no negative effects on your child. If they aren't caught right away, they can cause mental retardation or death before you figure out what's going on. I'd rather have my baby cry for a minute because of a little poke than end up severely disabled or dead because it seemed like too much of a hassle to have the newborn screen done. PKU itself will cause retardation and seizures if it isn't caught, but your baby would be perfectly fine if it's caught and you make a few dietary modifications. Galactosemia has a 75% mortality rate if untreated but again, if caught, all you have to do is feed your baby a lactose-free diet (and since breastmilk has lactose you need to know right away).

2 of my 3 are/will be UC babies and I'm fine with skipping most things-- prenatal screening, vaccines, etc. but I think the newborn screen should be mandatory.
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#14 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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I'm curious though

1) if you do it yourself, you just send it in? Do different states have different regulations on this?

2) it still doesn't get around the stored DNA issue...or how can you? Or is it just not possible?

3) It seems even doing it at home is still traumatic. Our state has 7 circles. The nurse had to do both her feet and could barely get enough blood. And we didn't even do K.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#15 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 10:56 PM
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1) There are various places to order it online, and you send it back to whoever you ordered it from. I have a midwife hook-up to get mine, but I think birthwithlove.com sells them as do various private labs.

2) This is not a concern for me but a private lab wouldn't store the blood.

3) Yes, it is hard to get enough blood. It's easier if the baby hasn't had vit. K, you warm the heel well beforehand, and you get a nice slash with the lancet. You can even nurse your baby while it's done. I don't believe it's painful after the original poke, but babies don't like someone holding their leg out and squeezing their foot. It's not as traumatic as say, permanent brain damage or death, though.
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#16 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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Many of the things that it screens for, if detected, can be corrected for and have no negative effects on your child. If they aren't caught right away, they can cause mental retardation or death before you figure out what's going on. I'd rather have my baby cry for a minute because of a little poke than end up severely disabled or dead because it seemed like too much of a hassle to have the newborn screen done. PKU itself will cause retardation and seizures if it isn't caught, but your baby would be perfectly fine if it's caught and you make a few dietary modifications. Galactosemia has a 75% mortality rate if untreated but again, if caught, all you have to do is feed your baby a lactose-free diet (and since breastmilk has lactose you need to know right away).

2 of my 3 are/will be UC babies and I'm fine with skipping most things-- prenatal screening, vaccines, etc. but I think the newborn screen should be mandatory.
Oh, okay I know all of that and I disagree that it is harmless or that it should be mandatory. The last thing we need is the government to be MORE invovled in making health care decisions for our children. I don't refuse it because it's too much of hassle, that's a pretty harsh thing to assume about people you don't know. I refuse it because I disagree with it and so do many other women who are fully informed.

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#17 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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1) There are various places to order it online, and you send it back to whoever you ordered it from. I have a midwife hook-up to get mine, but I think birthwithlove.com sells them as do various private labs.

2) This is not a concern for me but a private lab wouldn't store the blood.

3) Yes, it is hard to get enough blood. It's easier if the baby hasn't had vit. K, you warm the heel well beforehand, and you get a nice slash with the lancet. You can even nurse your baby while it's done. I don't believe it's painful after the original poke, but babies don't like someone holding their leg out and squeezing their foot. It's not as traumatic as say, permanent brain damage or death, though.


Thank you for the answers. I guess I had this centralized concept of it, didn't even think I could do it privately and send it to a private lab. That really helps out.


And yes, I understand your point about the possibilities, but at the same time I still want to minimize/eliminate all trauma in the early neonate period, you know? Hopefully your answers have provided more resources for us.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#18 of 27 Old 03-15-2010, 12:52 AM
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it was literally a minefield trying to get mine, which is why we decided to forgo it, but we were very close with our doctor and seeing him every week at this point, and he felt it would be ok to forgo it even though i would have prefered to do it. even HE Coudln't get ahold of the darn papers--not from the midwives, the hospital, the lab, the health department--and he is a doctor.

so, we felt ok with not doing it, but not really. i jsut felt like i had no other choice than to not do it because no one would give me the darn test papers to take to my doctor to have him do it.
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#19 of 27 Old 03-24-2010, 05:28 AM
 
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I HAD to have it done in order to register the birth with the health department. I did a bunch of research and had my ped write a script to do the blood draw from the vain in her hand because according to a study in Stockholm 40% more of the time they were able to get it on the first try and newborns cried from something like 60% less time. Turns out state of CA only accepts PUK test samples drawn from the foot. So she got both done. But at least we went to the lab at the best children's hospital in 100 miles and they got both on the first shot no squeezing.

But if you state allows vain draws, maybe look into doing that instead.

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#20 of 27 Old 03-24-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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I went to the Dr 6 days after birth for the PKU (mind you we did have a midwife, but we could get the newborn screen cheaper going to the doctor). We were sent to a lab to get the newborn screen done, it was done on the blot paper and it was a fine experience here so I guess some (majority) of this is the luck of the draw (haha, pun!) on your phlebotomist and how they treat you and your baby, and some is about how your baby reacts.

Baby is very mellow, he nursed himself to sleep first, was wrapped in a blanket warm and cozy. I was right with him holding his hands and offering a finger to comfort suck and he didn't do much more than make a face. There was no squeezing, she just waited for a good blood droplet to collect on his heal and filled in one of the dots. No one cried, though I was quite weepy. If he cried I would have joined him.

s to the mamas that have had bad expeirences.

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#21 of 27 Old 03-24-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I think it totally does depend on the baby and who does it.

I opted to get it done b/c as the PP mentioned it screens for so many things that are SO easily treatable yet can easily cause death if undetected. Unfortunatly I had to get it done at a stupid hospital b/c as other posters have run into they don't do them at doctors offices. The first stick didn't get enough blood so he put on a warming pad and left for a few minutes and tried again and was able to get enough, DS SLEPT through it, I couldn't believe it. He had nursed to sleep before it and he just stayed zonked out.

Also, it isn't just the fault of Vit K, I think some kids are just good clotters to begin with b/c neither of my children had vit K and both of them had to have two pricks done b/c the first one didn't bleed enough.

ETA: the other problem we ran into is that they sent us the bill even though we have insurance b/c the test is ordinarily paid for by the hospital that the child is born in and they don't accept third party (ie insurance) payments. Talk about bias against homebirth.
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#22 of 27 Old 03-24-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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It's a heel prick. My daughter had hers done at the hospital when she was a week old. I let her nurse while they pricked her heel. She didn't even pull off, and she is pretty sensitive. That was it. We did oral vitamin K, by Scientific Botanicals, so the vit K inj. was not an issue.

The main issue was that the hospital tried to charge us over $800 for the newborn screen and the newborn hearing test. HIGHWAY ROBBERY!
Luckily the insurance covered it but I would definitely try to get it done by an independent lab next time, if there is a next time. We have a pathology lab here in town I have used before, and I'm pretty sure I could have gone there or to the health dept. Moral of story, check how much it is going to cost first!

Heel prick vs. not finding out about a disease that needs immediate treatment and risking permanent damage, is a no-brainer in my book!

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#23 of 27 Old 03-25-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I HAD to have it done in order to register the birth with the health department. I did a bunch of research and had my ped write a script to do the blood draw from the vain in her hand because according to a study in Stockholm 40% more of the time they were able to get it on the first try and newborns cried from something like 60% less time. Turns out state of CA only accepts PUK test samples drawn from the foot. So she got both done. But at least we went to the lab at the best children's hospital in 100 miles and they got both on the first shot no squeezing.

But if you state allows vain draws, maybe look into doing that instead.
idk about it being ca. both my kids, and this baby, will have been born in ca. while dd was a mw-attended hb and we got it done for dd, ds was a uc, and nobody ever said anything about needing it done to get a birth certificate (same county for both of those births).
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#24 of 27 Old 03-27-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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A bad experience can leave you in a really negative place.

We didn't have a bad PKU experience until our third child.
After that, we refused with our fourth.

Not a responsible choice as a parent, just a 100% mama bear gut reaction because I had seen just *one* of my four babies go through a few really rough and upsetting PKU attempts over a few visits - which resulted in a hysterical baby who refused to nurse more than a handful of times in 72 hours, and would wake up screaming and couldn't be comforted. In the end, we never did get proper results either.

Thankfully, our fourth child is very healthy.

Having one negative experience on the journey, no mater what it is, can be difficult to move past.

I wish every baby had a smooth PKU experience.

Or, at the very least would come with a note as to their level of sensitivity to stimulation and/or their ability to clot well. Of course, in that case, the note could just tell us if they had any of the issues that a PKU panel finds... - hmmm, it may be time for this tired mama to go to bed now.
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#25 of 27 Old 04-21-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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sorry to bump an old thread....but I was just viewing the actual regulation for my state and it notes:

"The tests used must be dictated by accepted medical practice and approved by the Department. All newborn screening tests required by the Department of Health shall be performed by the Department's laboratories. The attending physician, certified nurse midwife, public health facility, ambulatory surgical center, or hospital shall assure that appropriate specimens are collected and submitted to the Department's laboratories."

So does this mean I can't privately do a PKU?

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#26 of 27 Old 04-24-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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Oh, you can do it privately for results, but to have it "on the record" if it is required, no you can't.

As for the whole "manditory" thing, I disagree with it as well. I have only had it done on three of my children. And I will not do it for any more of mine either. For me, I find it unnecessary and benefits are not worth it. But that is just me.

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#27 of 27 Old 04-24-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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I'm wanting to know the pros and cons of why some choose to not have it done vs having it done.

I did the PKU tests with my first 2 because they were hospital births, but my last 5 did not get it done and they are all happy and healthy. I am not planning on having it done with this next one either.

Still, I was wanting to know people's reasons as to why or why not.

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