Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Other Newborn Care

About 24 hours after birth other newborn care options come in to play. Here is a brief description of them.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

If you are planning to start the hepatitis vaccine with your newborn the first dose is given in the hospital around 24 hours old. Hepatitis B is contracted through body fluids and unless you are infected or at risk for contracting Hepatitis B your baby is not likely at high risk. It is considered safe by the CDC, but has the risk of side effects as with all vaccines. This is a matter of prayer and decision to be made between your spouse and you.

PKU Screening

The PKU screening is done between 24 and 72 hours old for best results. This is done by pricking the baby's heel to draw blood. This tests for PKU as well as other metabolic disorders. PKU is very serious and needs to be caught early to prevent serious complications or death. You can refuse this screening, however I would not recommend this. The risks of doing a heel stick clearly outweigh the benefits from knowing if your child has a metabolic disorder so you can properly care for their needs.


Circumcision is very controversial in our culture, but is still an option, to be done around 24 hours old by your OB/GYN. This entails removing the foreskin from the penis. It is considered a cosmetic surgery and can be refused. If you do not want your son circumcised, make sure it is clearly marked on your baby's chart.


This is a new screening to determine if there is a possibility of congenital heart defects in the baby. This is done by putting a pulse oximeter on two of the baby's extremities to see if the readings are equal. A positive screen would require an echocariogram to follow up.

Hearing Screen

The hearing screen is done by stimulating the ear drum or brain stem to verify there is a response. This is a non-invasive procedure that allows you to know if your baby may have hearing loss.

What are your experiences with these?


  1. Thanks for posting these Emmie! I think I've finally finished up the baby portion of my birth plan: I've decided to delay the vitamin K shot until 1 hour after birth (Clark does this anyway I think), delay the hep B until his 2 month appointment, request that circumcision not be done before 24 hours, and still undecided about the eye ointment. I'd love to hear from others about their experiences!

  2. We think Jamey had a reaction to the eye ointment as his eyes got really puffy, but none of the others had issues so we are not really sure.


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