OREGON, Ohio — September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month and a local doctor says parents need to get their babies screened.
The newborn screening process, which is required in all states, helps identify conditions in babies that may not be noticeable at birth.
According to the CDC, the test screens for over 30 treatable issues including heart defects, hearing loss and metabolic conditions.
"By screening early and knowing about them early before symptoms even start, you can have interventions that will then promote healthiness and take away any of the side effects that may occur without knowing these diagnoses," Oregon Pediatrics' Dr. Ashley Muszynski said.
The screening is three parts: a blood test from a heel-prick, an oxygen levels test and a hearing test.
In addition, Muszyinski said it's important to bring awareness to the newborn screening process for new mothers who have home births and to remind them how quickly that process needs to get done.
"The best time to do it is between 24 to 48 hours of birth. That accounts to everything that is changing in a newborn once they are born. There's a lot of physiological processes that have to change after being in the womb compared to being in the world now," she said.
Not only does that time frame allow the baby to adjust to the outside world, it's enough time for doctors to get the test results to parents.
Muszynski said if you are expecting or recently had a baby, it's important to call your health provider to make sure the screening gets done.