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Newborn screening tests

Your baby’s physical examination at birth and at 6-8 weeks of age

When your baby is born, the midwife will carry out some basic checks each day.

You will then be offered a more detailed physical examination of your baby within 72 hours of birth carried out by either a Paediatrician or a specially trained midwife.

Your baby will experience a lot of physical changes in the first 2 months of life and this is why the examination is then repeated at 6 to 8 weeks by your GP.

These examinations include a comprehensive screening examination to find those babies who may have a problem with their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, testicles that require further investigation.

Blood spot screening for your new born baby

In the first week after birth, you will be offered a blood spot screening test for your baby.

New born blood spot screening identifies babies who may have rare but serious conditions including phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell diseases and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).

If a baby is thought to have one of the conditions, he or she will need further tests to confirm this.   

Why it's important to have your baby screened

Most babies screened will not have any of the conditions but, for the small number that do, the benefits of screening are enormous. Early treatment can improve their health and prevent severe disability or even death.

Your baby's hearing screening test 

In the first few weeks of your baby's life, you will be offered another routine health check for your baby - a hearing screening test. The test uses quick and simple methods to check the hearing of all new born babies.

More information

Don't hesitate to talk to a health professional at any time, before or after the examinations or tests, if you are worried about your baby.

Your midwife, Paediatrician, health visitor, GP or screener will be able to provide you with more information.

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