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Newborn Screening
~ a message board archive
From JulieD ~ We just received a list of newborn screening tests to look over and decide if we want to have them done. I would love some input on what others decided and why.

Also, for the vitamin K administration, did you opt for a shot or the oral injection? Why? (We didn't opt for this for first baby at all but I'm thinking this time I would like to one way or the other).

I'm leaning toward, "It's just a few pokes" but I hate to even do that if there is not enough benefit. Basically I'm open for thoughts. Thanks!

From midwifetx ~ I use Pediatrix which is a private lab, for my client's newborn screens. They require only one heel stick and considerably less blood than the state test does, AND they test for 50 disorders instead of the mere seven the state does. It's not expensive, and you can file it with your insurance. They will send you the kit and all you need is someone to do it for you. They are online at http://www.perkinelmergenetics.com/.

From hedra ~ I'm going to have to keep that one in mind, too... Especially since I have big kids, which means they are doing heel sticks every few hours to check blood sugars. A few less pokes is a good thing.

I honestly can't remember what we decided for vitamin K. I think the shots, but I can't remember why.

We delayed the eye goop, both times. Delayed the Hep (B?) shot, too (our pediatrician gets riled if they try to give that one immediately, doesn't think it is medically appropriate unless the mom is positive for it, but does give it later). We waited 2 hours for the eye goop. That way they had time to see us with as good vision as possible, and get tired, too (so goopy mostly when sleeping). I think Gabe had it a bit before the 2 hour mark, but he was by then being passed around amongst all the family/friends, so that was okay.

Our midwives typically wait 2 hours for the eye goop, anyway, if you don't refuse it outright. That's inside the window for efficacy if you do happen to have an infection that you didn't know about.

From LisaM ~ In the UK Vitamin K is the only thing routinely given immediately postpartum, with the heel prick Guthrie done by a midwife within the first week.

From hunter ~ We chose not to give vitamin K at all. I started taking alfalfa the last month of pregnancy which aids blood clotting; the effect is transferred to the fetus in utero and to the baby via breastmilk. This is generally enough protection for a healthy baby with a normal birth. If our babies had required a forceps or cesarean delivery, or some sort of procedures immediately after birth, we would have opted for the vitamin K shot (it gets into the blood stream quicker than the oral dose). We did not circumcise our boys until almost two weeks after birth, to give them time to recover from the trauma of birth, so the vitamin K issue was not an issue by then.

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From Damiana ~ Ditto with Hunter. Ryder had a normal birth, so there didn't seem like any reason for it. There's also some scary research out there on intramuscular Vitamin K. I just watched my diet and his clotting turned out fine, too well in fact. We had a heck of a time squeezing out enough blood for his PKU.

From dini ~ We planning no Vitamin K unless transferred and midwife recommends. No eye goop. Plan to once again wait on the PKU test, and will take it later as a heel poke at the pediatrician's office. We're delaying vaccinations until at least 6 months.

From Amieee ~ My midwife came over at about a week and did a heel stick for PKU and anything else the state required. She sent it off for us. As far as Vitamin K goes, we were going to do the oral drops but for some reason didn't get them the first night. I did take the alfalfa instead. Beware though, it really does aid in clotting and I clotted a lot and had a clot the size of my placenta the day after he was born. We did not do eye drops. I put breast milk in his eyes.

From cookiev ~ If you're concerned about the cost of a doula, I know that there are many doulas in training who are looking to get experience and/or attendance at births who do not charge a fee. It may be worth it to contact a doula organization and ask for a referral list of non-certified doulas in your area. The doula will meet with you beforehand so you can let her know what you expect of her and she and your kids can meet and get comfortable with one another. I just thought I would interject that because if you don't have any other options, the doula route IS possible if you want to check into it.



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