Unveiling the Future: How Newborn Health Screening can Shape Your Child’s Health
As an expecting parent, you want to provide your child with the best possible start in life. You can do this by ensuring that they have access to the latest medical advancements and treatments, while staying ahead and being proactive about identifying any potential health issues that may arise. Introducing advanced newborn health screening.
For decades, hospitals have conducted heel prick tests on newborns to gain insight on less than 30 serious medical conditions. The goal was to rule out these diseases and conditions as soon as the baby was born.
In more recent years, this service has expanded rapidly into what is now known as newborn health screening, or newborn genomic testing. While hospitals haven’t caught up to this advancement, this at-home medical testing kit can provide you with valuable insights into your child’s health and well-being. By sequencing a baby’s DNA, genomic testing can help to identify hundreds of genetic disorders, predict disease risks, and guide personalized healthcare decisions.
What is Newborn Genomic Testing?
Newborn genomic testing is a cutting-edge technology that uses a simple test to sequence a baby’s DNA and identify any genetic variations or mutations that may be associated with a range of health conditions. This type of testing can provide parents with valuable information about their child’s health and well-being, and can help healthcare providers diagnose and treat any illnesses that are found.
Benefits of Newborn Genomic Testing
This medical advancement has numerous benefits. By providing valuable information about their genetic makeup, parents and doctors can learn a lot about children’s health. With its ability to identify genetic disorders, predict disease risks, and guide personalized healthcare decisions, newborn genomic testing is a powerful tool that can help parents and healthcare providers. In this section, we will explore the many benefits of newborn genomic testing and how it can help to shape your child’s health and future.
Identifying Genetic Disorders
One of the most significant benefits of genomic testing is that it can help to identify genetic disorders that may impact a newborn’s health and well-being. Genetic disorders are caused by changes or mutations in a person’s DNA, and can lead to a wide range of health problems, including intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and serious health conditions.
myNewborn Health Screening, a genomic screening test offered by Americord, is one of the industry’s leading tests. While the standard heel prick blood test at birth only screens for about 30 treatable conditions, this comprehensive health screening analyzes your child’s DNA for nearly 400 genetic and metabolic conditions that may manifest during childhood.
With genomic testing, healthcare providers can identify genetic disorders early on, before they become more serious. This can help to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of long-term health problems. A range of disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and Niemann-Pick disease, can be determined and possibly treated earlier than if symptoms presented themselves normally.
Predicting Disease Risks
In addition to identifying genetic disorders, genomic testing can also predict disease risks for newborns. This type of testing can identify genetic mutations that may increase a child’s risk for certain conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders.
By understanding their child’s disease risks, parents can take steps to manage or prevent these conditions. For example, if a newborn is found to be at increased risk for a particular type of cancer, healthcare providers can take steps to monitor and manage the condition more closely, which can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of long-term health problems.
Guiding Personalized Healthcare Decisions
Finally, genomic testing can guide personalized healthcare decisions for newborns. By understanding a child’s unique genetic makeup, healthcare providers can personalize their medical care and take steps to manage any health issues that may arise.
If cancerous mutations are identified for a newborn during their screening, doctors can use that information and ensure proper care is provided. This may include yearly check-ups, baseline body scans for disease progression, and a specialized preventative treatment plan to ensure your newborn remains healthy.
What Can Newborn Genomic Testing Uncover?
Newborn genomic testing has the potential to uncover a wealth of information about a child’s health. In this section, we’ll explore what newborn genomic testing can uncover and how this information can be used to help your child throughout their life.
Newborn genomic testing can help to identify inherited conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and Usher syndrome. This can help parents to understand their child’s risk for these conditions, and to take steps to manage or prevent them.
Newborn genomic testing can also identify metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria (PKU), which can cause intellectual disability and other health problems if left untreated.
Newborn genomic testing can also identify genetic mutations that may increase a child’s risk for cancer, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia, which are associated with the endocrine system and hyperparathyroidism.
Newborn genomic testing can also detect genetic mutations that may increase a child’s risk for cardiac disorders, such as Long QT syndrome, which can cause sudden cardiac death.
These illnesses are just the beginning of what genomic testing for newborns can uncover. This information can play a crucial role in the health of your baby following their birth. By obtaining insight from health screening tests, parents can discuss more in-depth, child-specific medical care.
myNewborn Health Screening unlocks hundreds of important medical insights. This in-depth report provides detailed information on any detected genetic or metabolic variants and their potential implications for your child’s health. To ensure you have a thorough understanding of your child’s screening results, all families receive genetic counseling from our team of experts. This personalized guidance will help you navigate any necessary interventions and optimize your child’s health outcomes.
Pathogenic variants and probably pathogenic variants classified based on American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) (PMID: 25741868) guidelines are reported.
Why Parents May Want to Consider Newborn Genomic Testing
Given the numerous benefits of newborn genomic testing, there are several reasons why parents may want to consider this type of testing for their child, including:
Peace of Mind: Newborn genomic testing can provide parents with peace of mind by giving them valuable information about their child’s health that they can use to make informed decisions.
Early Intervention: Newborn genomic testing can also help parents to identify any health issues early on, which can lead to earlier intervention and better outcomes. This can improve the quality of life for children and reduce the risk of long-term health problems.
Improved Quality of Life: By identifying and managing any health issues early on, newborn genomic testing can also help to improve the quality of life for children. This can help children to lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.
Family Planning: Newborn genomic testing can also be useful for family planning, as it can help parents to understand the potential impact of genetics on their child’s health and well-being. This can help them to make informed decisions about having additional children and to take steps to manage or prevent any health issues that may arise.
Newborn genomic testing is a powerful tool that has the potential to greatly improve the health and well-being of children. By sequencing a baby’s DNA, genomic testing can help to identify genetic disorders, predict disease risks, and guide personalized healthcare decisions. This type of testing can provide parents with valuable information about their child’s health and well-being, and can help healthcare providers to diagnose and treat any issues that may arise.
It’s important to remember that newborn genomic testing is just one part of a comprehensive approach to your child’s health and well-being. While the results of the test can provide valuable insights into your child’s genetic makeup, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to understand the results and to make informed decisions about your child’s care.
In the end, newborn genomic testing is an option that parents may want to consider for their child. With its numerous benefits, it has the potential to shape your child’s health and future in a positive way, and to provide them with the care and support they need to thrive.
Newborn Health Screening for Your Baby
Now that you understand newborn health screening and you’ve talked with your doctor about the benefits for your family, it’s time to sign up and prepare your kit to swab your newborn!
Americord is proud to offer myNewborn Health Screening, an advanced health screening test that analyzes your child’s DNA for nearly 400 genetic and metabolic conditions that may manifest during childhood. We believe that by investing in your child’s health with myNewborn Health Screening, you can take a proactive approach to their wellbeing from the start. With early detection, you can take the necessary steps to ensure your child receives the support and personalized healthcare they need to thrive throughout their life.
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