H is for Heel Stick

H is for Heel Stick

The heel stick is likely the first blood draw your baby will have.  When this is performed on your newborn a small lancet will be used to prick your baby’s heel and then your baby’s foot will be squeezed until an adequate amount of blood has been obtained.  This heel stick typically occurs at the 24 hour mark and is part of the newborn screening which includes a hearing test and sometimes a congenital heart disease screening.  The newborn heel stick tests for serious genetic medical conditions.  Which specific conditions your baby is screened for varies by state, to learn what your state tests for you can visit Baby’s First Test.  Virginia screens for 31 different conditions.  Screening your newborn at birth will allow any medical conditions to be diagnosed and treated early, possibly saving your baby’s life.  The newborn screening is required in all states, but can be refused for religious reasons…

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A is for APGAR

A is for APGAR

APGAR is a test that is performed on your baby twice after birth, at 1 minute and at 5 minutes of life.  The tests can be done while you hold your baby as they are merely observations.  The score at 1 minute indicates how well your baby tolerated being born and the score at 5 minutes indicates how well your baby is doing now that he/she is outside of the womb.  If the scores are poor at 1 and/or 5 minutes the test may be performed again at 10 minutes…

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