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Women & Babies Hospital

Maternity & Newborn


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Giving your baby a healthy start

Health screenings

We perform blood testing on your baby to screen for multiple metabolic and genetic disorders. We also test each newborn’s hearing prior to discharge. The results are forwarded to your baby’s doctor and the Pennsylvania Department of Health – a state requirement. Click here for a list of conditions for which screening is done.

Newborn heart disease is uncommon but may be difficult to detect. We screen for critical congenital heart disease on all newborns after 24 hours of age. An oxygen monitor wrapped around your baby’s foot and hand provides a reading.

Newborn hearing screening is done prior to your baby’s discharge. If a problem is detected, we’ll refer you to outpatient testing with a hearing specialist.

Yellow jaundice is a natural newborn process as your baby breaks down and eliminates mother’s red blood cells from their body, producing a yellow pigment called bilirubin. Some infants have more of mother’s blood to break down or it happens too quickly. This causes the bilirubin pigment to rise very quickly and may cause some problems. We screen for rapidly rising bilirubin in all infants with a simple monitor that is touched to the forehead at about 36 hours of age.

Protecting your baby

Vitamin K is given to all newborns within one hour of birth. One dose is injected into the leg muscle of your baby to prevent newborn bleeding problems.

Newborn eye care takes place right after the birth of your baby. An antibiotic ointment is applied one time to the eyes to protect your baby from a serious bacterial infection called gonorrhea.

Hepatitis B vaccine is your baby’s first vaccine. It is recommended that all infants receive a birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine by 24 hours of age, regardless of whether the mother has tested negative for Hepatitis B during her pregnancy. Many infants will catch this virus from another family member or friend who is infected with Hepatitis B but does not know they have it.

Click here to learn more about your baby and vaccines.

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