View Full Version : What happens with homebirth and the newborn hearing test?
I was just wondering what happens when you have a homebirth with the newborn hearing test.
I would assume your regular GP couldn't do it, so do you have to book in for an audiologist or something? Would there be a long wait? And would it cost?
I know some people may not worry about getting it done and just make sure bub appears to startle to noises etc... over the first few weeks but the newborn hearing test is very important to me and it's definitely not something I would consider skipping, so just wondering how does it get done when your baby is born at home? :confused:
There is usually an audiology clinic attached to public hospitals. I assume that with a GP's referral you'd go there - my DD 'failed' her first hearing test (too much fluid in her ears for the sounds waves to bounce back properly, apparently), and she had to go for a follow-up test at 6 weeks of age...I just went to the hospital to get it done, and because it was a public hospital, it was free.
The local hospital does it - a friend had to take her baby back as she was on an early discharge program and left before the test was done.
When DD1 was about 18 months old she failed the siple test that the ECHN did, she we were referred to an audiology clinic, and the wait was almost 12 months long :eek:
I would be scared of that happening I think, having to wait that long.
Surely for newborns it would be different though, I don't know...
I birthed in hospital :thumbsdown: but went home after a few hours. I took him to the CAYHS (the CHN place) office and they did it there. But I didn't get around to doing it until he was 7 weeks old *blush* and it was sooo stupid anyway - they do an initial test, which showed my boy had 'issues' with his left ear. So if there are any issues, they do a second, more in-depth, test. This second test showed that the right ear had problems. So she did it again. No problems. "Oh hahaha yeah this machine is a bit tetchy" WTF?????? :hair: Why even do the test??? Eeeeejits.
*ahem* My point is - the CHN place does them. (well, they do here in SA anyway)
(oh ETA btw he has perfect hearing. If he's down the end of the garden and I whisper "do you want a piece of chocolate" he comes tearing over to me screaming "DOKLITT DOKLITT DOKLITT" :laughing:)
I would think you would just pop up to the hospital and have it done? Maybe you could get a referral before the baby is even born, if you needed one
We won't be getting it done next time. Or the heel stab. I've sort of gone off alot of these tests.
Our local Clinic does them luckily not that i will be here when i HB mind you lol !
But from what i gather here in NSW most do !
I never even thought about those tests. I definately wont be doing the heel p*ick test again and not sure about the hearing, probably won't bother unless i think there's some issue with it.
Someone remind me - I'm having a major attack of placenta brain today - what is the heel prick test actually testing FOR?
I don't know whether or not we'll bother with the hearing test...maybe...I'll chat to my middie about it in a week and a half at my next check up. We won't be doing vit K, although I think we probably WILL do the Hep B vax after birth - DH is in a high-risk, high-exposure job....
But I can't remember what the heck the heel prick is, so whether we need it or not. Help me out here, please :)
3 things.... um.... congenital hypothyroidism, PKU, and not sure what the 3rd thing is!
For those who don't know much about why to get the hearing test, it's up to you obviously, but if you are interested - any amount of hearing loss can significantly delay language development in children - even a loss so mild it would not usually be picked up until school. Very very very early intervention is crucial - stats show that babies who have intervention/treatment before the age of 3 months have significantly better outcomes.
The test measures brain stem responses so not really something you can assess yourself.
Although severe/profound hearing loss affects only 3 in 1000 birth and is something a parent would most likely pick up on in a few months - moderate hearing loss is a bit more common at a rate of about 1 in 500 and may not be picked up by the parent until speech is delayed at say 2 years old. And by then the child may be delayed to the point that he or she may never acquire language perfectly - there is a lot of reasearch into the "critical period" or language development which is very interesting! :)
But blegh, really it's up to the parent, I have a bit of knowledge in speech/path and linguistics so it quite a concern of mine.
Ignorance IS bliss! :laughing:
The heel prick is a blood test which tests for metabolic disorders. Actually it's the one thing that I will do with all my kids - there are some disorders which are life-threatening if not picked up early enough. And if picked up right after birth, they can be managed without any issues for the child. It checks for phenylketonuria and galactasemia I think, and I think it even checks for cystic fibrosis (i could be wrong - I'm going to google right now).
I chose to have the heel prick done - because it's only a blood test, they're not injecting anything into him. I breastfed Curt while she did it, and he did let out a wail but went straight back to sucking and was fine while she squeezed the blood out of him :(
Wow, really? Thanks Zoe for the information, i wasn't very informed therefore i wasn't really worried about it. But that does sound very important to their development.
Cheers hun, i will get it done then. :D
The third is : "Trypsin to detect cystic fibrosis." I am unsure on the heel prick. I would have to look into it a bit more. What I do know is that the conditions are VERY rare but VERY serious if left untreated. So I am undecided. I would like to know what signs etc... a baby would display if it had one of the conditions and if you would be able to spot them before any damage was done.
Hmmm, lots to think about. Thanks guys :)
:iagree: Thanks for the info guys! :)
Queenis is right!
Anyway I plan on asking my midwife what to do about the heel prick test and the hearing test. I am guessing a referral from my GP to the hospital....actually I might ask my GP next time I go.
I didn't think they even did a hearing test at hospital. In both DH and my families, we have several cases of acquired and congenital deafness, so DS was flagged as high risk and given a newborn test at the audiologist, and was supposed to have a follow-up test at eight months (which we didn't do - big mistake because I now have suspicions about his hearing).
I guess you could just ask the CHN for a referral to the audiologist.
The midwife should be able to do the heel prick test, Ella - mine does. I will be getting it done - yes, they are rare conditions that they are checking for, but the implications of finding them early are enormous.
I was just planning on taking bub to the hospital to get the hearing test done also.
Der, I didn't think, I'm sure you could just go to the hospital the morning they do all the other bubs hey?
I know usually they are done on day 3/4 before they leave hospital, but I think that's more for convenience sake..... I think waiting a few weeks would be cool..... they just have to be at that age where they'll sleep though having little ear muffs put on their ears!
Just anyone have any info about signs of the conditions that the heel prick tests for, as in do you need to have it done or will you notice something is up before any damage is done (sorry I can't explain myself properly!)
Also obviously you could get the hell prick done when they are 6 weeks old instead of so early on, but I was wondering just incase your bub did have one of the conditions, would there be harm in waiting that long?
Aaarghhh sorry I'm not making sense: what I want to know is, is it vital these things are detected by test early, and HOW early should you test for?
I hope someone knows what I mean :o
phin, I think with one of the conditions they test for with the heel prick you need to find out ASAP as you need to alter the babies diet (supplementing with a special formula) as it can cause mental retardation if not picked up early.
In populations of European ancestry, it affects about 1 in 13,000 infants. In 1934, Følling discovered that restricting phenylalanine could improve the neurologic function of children with PKU, and within a few years it was established that a diet low in protein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein) from infancy could prevent the mental retardation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation). Unfortunately, PKU was often not detected until significant brain damage had occurred.
Left untreated, this condition can cause problems with brain development, leading to progressive mental retardation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation) and seizures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizures). However, PKU is one of the few genetic diseases that can be controlled by diet. A diet low in phenylalanine and high in tyrosine can be a very effective treatment. There is no cure. Damage done is irreversible so early detection is crucial. (bolding is mine).
Geez nothing is ever simple is it!?!??!
So hard when something is so very rare (well 1 in 13,000 sounds reare to me) but can have devastating effects.
I guess the key thing for me is the whole early detection thing, and that with a controlled diet, effects can be minimal.
I think this is something I may not beat myself up about and just do it. Aaarghh I'm not sure. I think I can take some comfort in knowing it's just a little prick then a squeeze (still ouchy I know :() - and there is nothing more to it (unlike with vaxxes for example, you've also go something being injected into their body there).
Does anyone ever feel like life would be so much simpler if we were offered NO tests at all?!?!
I actually dread the future where there will probably be tests available to test for..... gawd..... everything!
The way I decide things is to weigh up the risks. There are no risks associated with the test except of course the puncture wound. Of course babies feel it and of course it probably hurts but it doesn't alter them irrreversiby and there are no chemicals involved therefore for me I am happy to have it done. There is basically zilch chance of a baby having any of these things, they are so so rare but there are huge implications if you don't know about them early. I guess for me the fact that the test is so harmless is the deciding factor rather than the risk of not having it done iykwim?
Oscar just BF through the test and didn't even flinch but I have heard stories of babies screaming blue murder and they were taken to a room away from their mothers....that is just insane, I wouldn't let my baby out of my sight, it's fine to just do the test with bub in mums arms.
Thats good Pam, I hope my middy can do the heel prick test. I will ask her :)
Just adding my 2 cents in - I have a friend whose child was picked up with a thyroid problem as a result of the heel prick test. She is now on medication but because they detected it early she will have no developmental delays.
I think that the test is a very important one. My cousin is deaf and if they had picked it up earlier, she would have developed her speech a lot better. It is a harmless test that will be of real benifit to your child if any hearing difficulties are detected.:)
I didn't have either of my boys tested, I probably should have really, they both hear well :)
I would just have gone up to the local hospy.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.9 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.