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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you think it's really necessary to do the newborn screening? For those of you not doing it, what are your reasons?
 

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We're not. We're planning a homebirth, but I've even covered this with my CNM in my "birth plan" in the event of a hospital birth.<br><br>
It's late and my brain is mush, but I'll try to explain my reasoning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Not sure if you're talking about the whole newborn onslaught (the pku, vit K, eye ointment, etc..) but anyway...<br><br>
Let's see...no Vit K. There's no reason to automatically assume "lower" Vit K is a bad thing for babies; nature's not stupid and maybe that happens for a reason. Plus it's mainly for blood clotting which isn't an issue since we're not doing any kind of surgery or circ'ing (having a girl anyway lol)<br><br>
Eye ointment, I have no STD's...<br><br>
I will say we're likely doing the PKU...we have a nurse come and take some blood after the baby is a week or so old. It's not so difficult and the disorders tested for can be a problem if not detected (and are hard to detect w/o the test) so we do go with that one, but I would likely be okay with NOT doing it too.<br><br>
Good luck! My CNM told me it's mainly something to go over with your Ped instead of your birth attendant (she talked to our Ped herself as they work in the same clinic and he's "okay" with it all)
 

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Vitamin K - No. I have colostrum for that and like the PP said, we're not circ'ing if it is a boy.<br><br>
Eye Drops - No. After our son was born, we spent quite a while cuddling with him before he did his newborn screenings. I sent him to the nurses with clear, wide-open and observant eyes, and received him back with eyes full of gunk (mucousy stuff) that didn't go away for several days. My daughter never got eye drops and never got eye gunk. And I have no STDs or any reason to think one would pop up all of a sudden.<br><br>
PKU - Yes. It's a pretty straightforward test, they take a little blood (oh, that's another reason I don't do Vitamin K...they gave DS his Vitamin K shot - clotting agent - before his PKU, and it took them FOREVER to draw enough blood to fill the little circles! It was miserable, poor little guy. Again, DD didn't have the shot and the blood flowed fine for the PKU, and stopped when it was supposed to). PKU is a pretty scary disorder and if any of my kids have it I want to know right away. The first couple weeks of birth is the best time to test for it (you don't have to do it <i>immediately</i> after birth) and in my opinion this one isn't worth waiving.<br><br>
Are there any other newborn tests? I copied these from the PP...I can't remember. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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None of the above. PKU after a few days - even though it's an inherited / genetic problem that neither of our families have.
 

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I do the PKU because I have a family member who has it. Other than that no.<br>
My MW did suggest taking alfalfa tablets since she doesn't do the vitamin k shot. They provide you and the babe with vitamin k-supposed to help with postpartum bleeding too.<br><br>
gretchen
 

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We are not doing the eye ointment.<br><br>
We're on the fence about the vitamin K--will probably decide at the birth.<br><br>
We will do the PKU, but it will be done by the ped a few days after the birth, not immediately.<br><br>
What do people think about the hearing test? It's never been clear to me why you need to get your child's hearing tested the minute he/she is born. Is there a compelling reason? If your baby does have hearing problems, do they do something early on to correct them?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NYCVeg</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What do people think about the hearing test? It's never been clear to me why you need to get your child's hearing tested the minute he/she is born. Is there a compelling reason? If your baby does have hearing problems, do they do something early on to correct them?</div>
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I don't know why they do it at the hospital, but I do think that it is awsome that all newborn babies are now screened. They use to wait until the parents questioned something with the babies speech patterns (or lack there of) 1-2 years or something before testing. Now, they can discover potenial problems right away and either try to fix the problem or help alleviate it so that there is much less disrupting natural speach ability.
 

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i agree with most...would just do the PKU. i won't do the hearing screen again if i don't have to. poor little guy 'failed' the first round and it caused a big stir.<br><br>
but then again i'm hoping to stay away from hospitals in the future!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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We're doing the PKU but not until AFTER my milk comes in, it's useless before that. No Vit K or eye goop but not sure if you meant that. We didn't do vit k last time even ds was circ'd and he was fine.<br><br>
Hmm, I hadn't thought of a hearing test. Could that be done at a well-checkup if you want it done? With dd (hosp. birth) they took her away in the middle of the night for the test because it had to be done when she was asleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:. I don't remember the ped ever mentioning it being necessary for ds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I have hearing problems but it was caused by having tubes in my ears three times which caused scar tissue buildup and polyps in my ears. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">
 

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They do the hearing test in the hospital because it's the best way to catch kids who might otherwise slip through the cracks, not be seen/evaluated by any professionals until they hit kindergarten, which would be woefully late for interventions to begin.<br><br>
The "PKU test" is actually a broad screening of many genetic disorders ranging from 5 or 6 to dozens, depending on what state you live in. To skip it based on no family history of PKU is not a good idea.
 

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It looks like we will do the eye ointment. I don't think I have any STDs but from what I read testing fro Chlamydia (sp?) is not very conclusive so we will just go ahead and do the eye ointment (erythromycin) before the midwives leave (about 3 hours after birth).<br>
We are not circing and no Vitamin K for the same reaason as PP:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">There's no reason to automatically assume "lower" Vit K is a bad thing for babies; <span style="text-decoration:underline;">nature's not stupid and maybe that happens for a reason.</span></td>
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We probably will do the PKU when the midwives come back for the 1 or 2 week baby check. No reason to assume we are prone to PKU but I think the test also tests for 4 other conditions.<br>
As far as screening goes I think we will just get the usual APGAR - no hearing tests, etc. as it will be of course too early to be conclusive anyway.
 

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And if anyone wants the PKU that tests for more diseases you can order them online and have your midwife lance baby's foot and then you mail in the stuff. I lost all my links when my computer crashed though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So the PKU you all are talking about is where they prick babys foot and test for a few different things, right? I think that's the only test my mw does unless she hasn't talked to me about the others yet but that's the only one I have right now. She sent me home w/ my 36 wk packet, papers explaining diff. things and the newborn screening (pku?) was the only test in there. My dh doesn't want to test so I wanted to get some advice or just see how you mama's felt about it.<br><br>
thanks.
 

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we'll be doing PKU and hearing screen when we go to see the doc sometime in the first couple weeks after the birth (from what i understand, those 2 tests are mandatory in order to get a birth cert. in this state).<br><br>
otherwise, we're doing a UC, so won't be having the vit. k, eye drops, or other stuff. even if it ends in a hospital transfer, i'll be refusing it.
 

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For everyone's info: I did some hard (i.e., not internet) research on the vitamin K shot and was a little bit surprised by what I found. Here's a summary:<br><br>
Although most people think that the vit K will help with "traumatic" births (circ, bruising, forceps, etc.), this is actually not what it's for. It's for spontaneous brain hemmorhage, which has no identifiable cause, affects 1 in 10,000 newborns, and is fatal. Now, 1 in 10,000 is a VERY low risk; I think it's very reasonable to decline the vitamin K with those odds. On the other hand, the odds of brain hemmorhage with the vitamin K shot are 1 in 1,000,000.<br><br>
I expected that "modern" delivery--forceps, vacuums, circ, etc.--would make brain hemmorhage more likely, but I was surprised to learn that the hemmorhage risk (1 in 10,000) has been consistent for over a century (since the late 1800), since it was first studied. Again, the odds are still very, very small--but the risk doesn't go down just because you don't circ, birth isn't traumatic, etc.<br><br>
There was a study tentatively linking vitamin K shots to leukemia--but it's over a decade old (I forget the name of the doctor who did it...Goddard?), has never been duplicated, and has been seriously questioned by further research, at least according to what I've read. On the other hand, there is no definitive proof either way (the numbers are too small to rule anything in or out definitely), so you need to decide if you think there's a real risk. I think it's worth tracking down both the original study and the subsequent ones that deal with it, if you really want to make an informed choice.<br><br>
My mws have been practicing for around 20 years and say that they've never had anyone have any complications from the vitamin K...and they've never had anyone have complications from NOT having it.
 

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As a speech pathologist, I say *please* get the newborn hearing screening. Both measures they use (some use OAE and some use ABR) are both non-invasive and require no behavioral responses, etc. One the baby sleeps through, the other the baby has a small probe in its ear (like an ear plug).<br><br>
It is SO important. Parents think they will just *know* if their baby can hear. This is not true. Deaf children can often respond to small vibrations, visual stim, etc. in their environment and fool you.<br><br>
Regardless of what you decide should your child have a hearing impairment, its key to start early in working with them. This could mean hearing aids, cochlear implants, or contact with the deaf community and sign language. Waiting until later can have disastrous results in speech and language development.<br><br>
To the poster who has hearing problems due to scar tissue, this is unfortunate. However, I would venture to say that WITHOUT the tubes, you may have had a significant speech and language delay.<br><br>
As a parent, I will be vigilant about my child's hearing. Many of my little ones who have significant speech and language delays had chronic ear infections. Tubes have done wonders to allow them the input of speech so they can learn.<br><br>
Sorry so passionate, but I just had to encourage you to get the test! Can't stay quiet on this one.<br>
XOXO<br>
B
 

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Beth,<br><br>
I read that early hearing tests are ineffective. Can you tell me at what age babies should have a hearing test? And who does them? Audiologist? Ped?
 

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We're doing the PKU and probably the Vit K. No need for the eye goop. We're also doing the hearing tests (have a speech pathologist in the family and know all about how important it it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )
 

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With preemies, we will certainly do Vitamin K. The risk of brain bleeds is too great to weigh on my mind if we were to choose not to do it.<br><br>
If we were homebirthing, I would refuse the eye goop. However, since we will be around all the germs and nastiness of a hospital, we are doing eye ointment (NOT drops, those are indeed dangerous, imo). Our midwives (not associated with a doctor's practice) even said eye ointment in a hospital birth was a good idea. Not worried about me passing anything along, but I am concerned about everything else they will be exposed to.<br><br>
PKU / hearing screening are a yes too for us. It's a quick heel stick / painless (perhaps a tad annoying) test and detects things that would otherwise go unnoticed.<br><br>
We do refuse routine HepB at birth.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>balawre</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">PKU / hearing screening are a yes too for us. It's a quick heel stick / painless (perhaps a tad annoying) test and detects things that would otherwise go unnoticed.<br><br>
We do refuse routine HepB at birth.</div>
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i would have to disagree with the painless part of the PKU test (my son screamed bloody murder during his stick), but i do think it is a good screening tool, even if you don't have any previous family history.
 
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