At Dignity Health Family Birth Centers, we want to ensure your baby’s health from the day they’re born. Our newborn screenings typically includes three groups of tests that evaluate the baby’s health within the first day of life.
Babies receive screening tests to check for potentially serious health conditions right after birth. If doctors find abnormalities in the test results, early treatment can reduce or prevent future health problems for the baby.
As part of our expert postnatal care services, Dignity Health Family Birth Centers provides newborn screenings in Sacramento and surrounding areas. Trust our nurses and doctors to prioritize the well-being of both mothers and newborns after childbirth. Find an OB near you for personal care from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond.
What to Expect from Newborn Screening at Dignity Health
Your baby will undergo three groups of newborn screening tests, preferably within the first day of life or before leaving the Family Birth Center.
The screening includes:
- Blood tests. A member of the postnatal care team, usually a nurse, will prick the baby’s heel to get a few drops of blood to check for different health conditions. While the screening results do not definitively confirm a health problem, they identify babies who should have further evaluation. The blood is taken very quickly. However, your baby will feel pain from the needle prick.
- Hearing test. A postnatal care staff member will put a small speaker into your baby’s ear to determine how he or she responds to sound. The test checks for hearing loss. It lasts only a few minutes and is not painful.
- Critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) test. The health provider will attach a sensor to the baby’s hand or foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The test is short and painless, and helps identify potential heart problems. This guides the care team on additional diagnostic tests and necessary treatment.
There are no known risks to the baby for these tests besides the brief pain the blood test causes.
Next Steps After Newborn Screening
If the screening results come back negative, the baby will not usually need any more testing for these conditions. If test results are in the out-of-normal range, the test may need to be repeated to rule out a false positive.
A doctor might also recommend other tests to make a diagnosis and determine a treatment plan, or may refer you and your baby to a specialist for further evaluation and care, if necessary. Trust to us treat your child with exceptional care every step of the way. The professionals at Dignity Health Family Birth Centers offer newborn tests in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.