Congrats on your pregnancy! Now that you have another life to care for, you will start to realize that their health will become one of the most important things in your life. One of the earliest and easiest ways to do this is by undergoing a newborn screening test, but did you know you have options?
The most common newborn screening test is called the Newborn Heel Prick Test and is performed at the hospital shortly after birth. A newer, substantially more in depth and advanced screening test is called the myNewborn Health Screening. While both tests are designed to assess a baby’s health, they are different in several ways. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between the Newborn Heel Prick Test and myNewborn Health Screening to help you understand the benefits of both.
Newborn Heel Prick Test
The Newborn Heel Prick Test, also known as the heel prick test, is a standard screening test that has been performed on newborns for several decades. The test is designed to detect approximately 30 serious medical conditions that can have a significant impact on a child’s health and well-being. The disorders that are tested for include phenylketonuria (PKU), congenital hypothyroidism, and galactosemia, which are all conditions that can cause intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and serious health problems if left untreated.
The heel prick test is a quick and simple procedure that can be performed in the hospital or at home. The test involves taking a small blood sample from the baby’s heel, which is then tested for metabolic disorders. The results of the test are usually available within a few days, and if a metabolic disorder is detected, further testing and treatment can be done to manage the condition.
Historically, the Newborn Heel Prick Test has been performed on all newborns within the first few days of life because it is an effective way to detect metabolic disorders early on, before they become more serious. By detecting these disorders early, healthcare providers can take steps to manage the condition more effectively, which can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of long-term health problems.
The information that healthcare providers obtain from the heel prick test can be used to make informed decisions about a child’s care. Depending on the results, healthcare providers can take steps to manage the condition more effectively, which can include adjusting the child’s diet, providing medication, and monitoring their health closely.
Whether performed in the hospital or at home, the Newborn Heel Prick Test is an important tool for assessing a child’s health and providing them with the care and support they need to thrive.
myNewborn Health Screening
myNewborn Health Screening is, in its basic understanding, an extremely advanced version of the Newborn Heel Prick Test. It tests for 400 serious medical conditions that can have a significant impact on a child’s health and well-being. It is a comprehensive genomic screening test that offers a more in-depth look at a baby’s genetic makeup.
This test is offered by Americord and uses a simple saliva sample to sequence a baby’s DNA, which can help to identify any genetic variations or mutations that may be associated with a range of health conditions. By using Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) of the DNA, results can show pathogenic variants that are related to actionable childhood-onset diseases.
Parents who choose to participate in myNewborn Health Screening may do so because they want a more comprehensive understanding of their child’s health and well-being. This test can provide valuable information about a child’s genetic makeup and can help parents to make informed decisions about their child’s care. The test can detect genetic variations and mutations that may be associated with conditions such as inherited diseases, cancers, and metabolic disorders, and can provide valuable insights into a child’s disease risks.
Healthcare providers value the information gathered from myNewborn Health Screening because it can help them to diagnose and treat any issues that may arise. By understanding a child’s genetic makeup, healthcare providers can proactively make changes and personalize medical needs. In the event a metabolic or genetic disease is detected, healthcare providers can work on monitoring and providing a treatment plan before the disease progresses further.
In addition to providing valuable information about a child’s health, myNewborn Health Screening can also help parents to make informed decisions about their family planning. By understanding the potential impact of genetics on their child’s health, parents can make informed decisions about having additional children and can take steps to manage or prevent any health issues that may arise.
myNewborn Health Screening is a comprehensive genomic screening test that provides valuable information about a child’s health and well-being. The information gathered from this test can help healthcare providers to diagnose and treat many issues that may arise, and can help parents to make informed decisions about their child’s care and future.
While both the Newborn Heel Prick Test and myNewborn Health Screening are designed to assess a baby’s health early on, there are several key differences between the two tests.
myNewborn Health Screening is a more comprehensive test than the Newborn Heel Prick Test. myNewborn analyzes nearly 400 metabolic and genetic diseases and offers an expanded scope of detection. This test can detect a wide range of health conditions, such as…
- Inherited Diseases
- Metabolic Disorders
The Newborn Heel Prick Test is limited to a few specific metabolic disorders, including…
- Cystic Fibrosis
For families with a history of certain medical conditions and diseases, it may be more impactful to partake in myNewborn screening. The detail and precision of analyzing 407 genes associated with the nearly 400 conditions tested are highly beneficial to both parents and healthcare professionals. In addition to this, families will have access to a trusted genetic counselor who will interpret and discuss the results with them personally.
The Newborn Heel Prick Test is typically performed within the first few days of life, while myNewborn Health Screening can be performed up to 36 months after birth. The heel prick test is usually sent to be tested immediately and families receive results within one to three weeks.
The myNewborn test complements the conventional heel prick test, improving clinical utility. The test is indicated for newborns and children in the first years of life who do not present symptoms of genetic disease and is performed by saliva or blood. Results are then analyzed and produced, taking up to 8 weeks to receive your child’s health insights.
While the prick test must be performed within the first few days of birth, myNewborn can be screened anywhere from birth to 36 months of age. This allows families to consider the benefits and make informed decisions after their child’s birth. Talking with your healthcare provider is the best way to ensure you are doing what is best for your family.
The cost of myNewborn Health Screening is typically higher than the cost of the Newborn Heel Prick Test. The cost of a newborn heel prick test can vary depending on a number of factors, including the location and the healthcare provider performing the test. In most cases, the test is covered by insurance, so parents may not have to pay out of pocket.
However, the cost of this test may vary from state to state and is not always covered by insurance. According to BabyCenter, screening can range from free in some states, to a $15-$150 fee in others. This cost would be added to your hospital bill.
With Americord, parents can expect to pay about $800 for the full advanced health screening of myNewborn. The cost of myNewborn Health Screening may not be covered by insurance, but families can use their HSA or FSA plans to cover the costs. Remember that this increased price is a result of increased medical insights and an ability to learn much more about your child’s health than the standard heel prick test.
Which Test is Best For You?
The Newborn Heel Prick Test and myNewborn Health Screening are both important tools for assessing a baby’s health.
The choice between the two tests will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. If you’re looking for a quick and simple screening test that can detect a few specific metabolic disorders, the Newborn Heel Prick Test may be the right choice for you. However, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive screening test that can provide valuable insights into your child’s health and well-being, myNewborn Health Screening may be the better option.
It’s important to remember that both tests are optional and the decision to undergo either test is a personal one. If you’re unsure which test is right for you, it’s best to discuss your options with your healthcare provider. They can help you to understand the benefits and limitations of each test and can provide guidance on which test may be best for your baby.
In conclusion, the Newborn Heel Prick Test and myNewborn Health Screening are both important tools for assessing a baby’s health. By understanding the difference between the two tests, you can make an informed decision about which test is right for your baby and take steps to ensure that they are healthy and happy.