My midwife - crunchier than thou - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay so we're planning on a homebirth with a MW who I adore. She's great, has tons of experience, and I just all around love her.
I called her to talk about prenatal testing - we really only want the PKU test done. Well she just made me feel ridiculous for wanting this test! I don't know where you mamas are standing but from what I know it's just a very simple blood test for certain diseases - I figure why not? She was all "well, a lot of my clients don't do that" and let me know that I'd have to "get involved in the conventional medical system" to get that done. I don't know if it's translating here on the screen but she made me feel silly for wanting to do the PKU test. G-d forbid I wanted to vax! (we don't)
I still really love her and I wouldn't dream of finding someone else over this but I had to vent about it because it buuuuuged me!! I'm sooo not "crunchy" enough for her now!! :
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#2 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 03:49 PM
 
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I am not very familiar with all the testing but I thought the PKU test is to profe if you child can digest your milk. I might be totally wrong, so please correct me if I am.
I remember my midwife say that it's pointless the way they do it in the hospital - right after the birth because the baby did not have any of the mothers milk yet and then they have to repeat it after a week to get correct reading.

When my DS was born I was dreding this test but my pediatrician never did it. When I asked him why he said: What's the point, he is obviously thriving well!
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#3 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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PKU tests for phenylketonuria and involves the baby's ability to digest just about anything (including mother's milk)--but yeah, the test is more reliable after a week. Usually, that test is done along with a panel of other tests (all involving usually no more than 12 drops of blood from a heel-prick, sometimes as few as 5), depending on the state you live in. I guess I'd just leave her out of it and ask your ped to do the test(s) within the first week or so.

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#4 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So if I decide to get the test after a week (we were going to wait about that long anyway) and during that time, baby is bfing fine, is there really no point to getting the test done?? I never thought about it that way!
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#5 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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I'm not 100% positive on this, but I think it detects if the baby's system is processing the food correctly, so even if the baby is eating, it might not be absorbing something right, and this test shows if that is the case. I think. It's the one thing that I'm having done, mainly because it's not putting anything into the baby (other then a needle), unlike vaccines, vit k, eye drops, etc.

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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#6 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinestarr
So if I decide to get the test after a week (we were going to wait about that long anyway) and during that time, baby is bfing fine, is there really no point to getting the test done?? I never thought about it that way!
Not your DDC, but..

The "PKU" tests for up to thirty inherited (mostly metabolic) disorders. The point of having it done is to detect these disorders at a point when they're treatable (i.e., before symptoms appear). Your kid can be doing fine until the amino acids (as an example, with PKU) build up to a level that it affects their neurologic functioning. Appearing to thrive doesn't preclude the possibility of having one of the disorders. I'd go for it. Done properly (i.e., foot warmed, mom/dad holding baby upright), it's fast and many babies don't even cry.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#7 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies (and thanks for not making me feel like an idiot!!)
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#8 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama
Not your DDC, but..

The "PKU" tests for up to thirty inherited (mostly metabolic) disorders.
Yes and it depends on the State you live in on how many things they test for.
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#9 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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I have to second the "if it's done right" note above, too. Our dd had severe jaundice and had to have her blood tested nearly every other day to monitor her levels--as long as they use the nice little foot-warmer heat pack and let you hold or nurse your baby when they do the test, it's no big deal. 90% of the time Hannah slept through it.

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#10 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 07:52 PM
 
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I'm sorry your midwife took that tone. That's obnoxious. The PKU is one newborn test that even the crunchiest mamas and midwives I know have done.

For me, the bigger issue is finding someone very patient and good at doing it gently. They need a lot of blood for that damn test, and it can be torture.

Hold baby upright, massage the heel, use a very warm washcloth on the foot for a few minutes beforehand. Be patient. See if you can call around and find a caring CNM to do the test for you because I think it makes a big difference.
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#11 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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We choose to do the PKU (and associated) test not right after birth but at two weeks. My MW is willing to do it, or we could take the baby to a pediatrician. We're not comfortable not doing the test but I know many are because the risk being the one who has the condition is small.
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#12 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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Apparently PKU and some of the other things they test for cause retardation if they are not treated. If they are treated you can prevent the retardation all together. I do not think that is a chance I would take no matter how crunchy! Someone already mentioned they are not putting anything in to the baby other than a clean needle.

I'm sorry she made you feel that way!
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#13 of 15 Old 06-19-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
I'm sorry your midwife took that tone. That's obnoxious. The PKU is one newborn test that even the crunchiest mamas and midwives I know have done.

For me, the bigger issue is finding someone very patient and good at doing it gently. They need a lot of blood for that damn test, and it can be torture.

Hold baby upright, massage the heel, use a very warm washcloth on the foot for a few minutes beforehand. Be patient. See if you can call around and find a caring CNM to do the test for you because I think it makes a big difference.
:

The nurse who did my dd's PKU was very gentle and as I recall she barely even cried, although it pained me to see them stick her little heel. It is a very valuable and non-invasive test so I am confused as to why the midwife was so sarcastic about it.
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#14 of 15 Old 06-20-2006, 02:17 AM
 
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The PKU test is actually called a Newborn Screen. It varies from state to state as to what it actually tests for. If you tell me your state, I can finnd out what test you state requires. Here in Texas, they test for 5 different disorders. They are very rare, but very devastating and pretty simple to cure. A couple of them are not metabolic tests. The metabolic disorders such as PKU and galactasemia are not accurate with the first test. The reason they do it right away in the hospital even though the metabolic tests may not be accurate is because the other diseases they test for need to be diagnosed very quickly and dealt with right away. For example, some states test for Conngenital Adrenal hyperplasia or sickle cell anemia which can be detected that early. I think they are very important. I wish our state tested for more than just the 5 diseases. You can actually privately order supplemental newborn screening for more tests. You just take it to your ped and have them do it all at the same time. It's really a very simple test and you could save your child from severe retardation and many other things in the rare event your baby has one of these diseases. I highly recommend doing it. Sorry your midwife made you feel silly. She should respect your feelings about such things even if they are not her feelings.

Jessica, mama to Emma, 7, Mattie, 5.5 and Lilly, 3 and someone new this Halloween-ish.

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#15 of 15 Old 06-20-2006, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks ladies!!
I actually don't live in the States put I'm going to try and check around and see what kind of info I can gather.. I'm from the States, though, and sometimes I wish that we could just go back just to have the baby, lol, because it seems less complicated. Everyone here has free insurance from the State but maybe we'll just go to a private ped. (lol like we have the money) to make it less complicated... Hmm..
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