What Parents Should Know - A SummaryYou may find that this summary is enough for you to make your decisions about newborn screening for your baby.
Newborn Screening helps to prevent certain treatable diseases.
- Babies with some disorders need treatment in early infancy to prevent severe disease.
- Newborn screening helps to find the babies who have these disorders.
- Most likely, your baby does NOT have one of these disorders.
Newborn screening works by testing all babies who are born in Massachusetts.
Routine Newborn Screening
- Testing all babies is important, because most babies appear healthy at birth, even the babies who have the disorders that need treatment and that can be detected by newborn screening.
- The testing for newborn screening is done on a few small drops of blood that are collected when your baby is about two days old.
- If testing shows that your baby has signs of one of these treatable diseases, your baby’s doctor will call you to arrange care for your baby.
- In Massachusetts, ROUTINE NEWBORN SCREENING includes disorders that are believed to be treatable.
- Under Massachusetts’ law, it is a requirement that all babies born in Massachusetts be screened for laboratory markers of these treatable diseases unless parents object on the basis of religious beliefs.
Optional Newborn Screening (Pilot Studies)
- Massachusetts also offers optional newborn screening services.
- The OPTIONAL NEWBORN SCREENING allows Massachusetts to study new screening possibilities.
- The statewide pilot study is research that is valuable for future babies and may be of benefit to your baby.
- There is no extra cost and no extra blood required for your baby to participate.
- Under Massachusetts’ guidelines, after your baby is born, you will be asked whether you want to take advantage of the OPTIONAL NEWBORN SCREENING.
- If, for some reason, you decide that you do not want to participate in the OPTIONAL program, your baby will still have all the benefits of ROUTINE NEWBORN SCREENING.