NEWBORN TESTS

There are several tests and procedures that are routinely performed on newborns.  At the Valley Birthplace at AVH, they include:

  • Car Seat Safety:  Infant car seat safety is something that we take very seriously.  We encourage you to practice with your car seat before your baby is born so that you are comfortable using it, and can make sure it's in proper working order.  Your baby needs to be safely seated in an appropriate car seat prior to leaving the hospital.
  • Circumcision:  This is a personal decision that should be made prior to your son's birth.  If you choose to have this procedure completed, it will be done in the nursery.  The doctor will be glad to discuss this with you.
  • Congenital Cardiac Screening:  This routine and painless procedure can potentially detect seven heart defects.  With early detection, cardiac specialists can provide specialized care and treatment that can prevent further heart problems, including disabilities and death.
  • Hearing Test:  A routine and painless screening, performed on all newborns to rule out the possibility of hearing impairment.  If undetected, hearing impairment can lead to language and speech delays.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine:  Many parents choose to begin this vaccination series in the hospital, with the remaining two doses administered at your baby's check-ups with the doctor.  Your physician will discuss this with you.  This vaccine will not be given unless you sign the vaccine consent form.  It's usually administered at the same time as the PKU testing.  So, these procedures that involve some pain are performed at the same time.
  • Newborn Screening (PKU Blood Test):  A small prick of your baby's heel, to obtain a few drops of blood, will allow the State of New Hampshire to test for multiple rare but potentially harmful disorders.  Mandated by the State, this test currently screens for 32 disorders, including thyroid disorders and cystic fibrosis.
  • Period of Purple Crying:  This is an evidence-based infant abuse prevention program which helps parents and caregivers understand normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant.

For more information about any of these procedures or education, please call the Valley Birthplace at AVH, at (603) 326-5882.