Newborn hearing screening?

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jooniper's picture
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Newborn hearing screening?

Hi, ladies... sorry I haven't been around much, still getting a hang of this having-two-kids thing. I did have a quick question though: my pediatrician asked if the midwife (who took care of both newborn screenings so far) also takes care of the newborn hearing test, he said it's required by law (?) and is usually taken care of at the hospital before discharge. I'd never heard of such a thing, and I don't think my midwife has any plans around it. I'm not particularly worried about it, but I am curious. Anyone care to enlighten me?

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When I had Clara the nurse came in to tell us that she passed her 2nd hearing test. I was like, wait, what, she failed the 1st?! She said, oh yeah, it's not uncommon for them to fail the first or even the second. I told her well, she startles when there's a noise so I never even thought to worry about her hearing. She just said, oh yeah, that's about all she needs to do at this point to prove to us that her hearing is okay. Can anyone say waste of my money?!

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My first 2 never had hearing screenings. I didn't even know they existed. I got asked if our 3rd had one. When we was about 2 months old, we had her tested only because she wasn't responding to loud noises....or her brothers. I was fearful she deaf to be completely honest. Her hearing test came back normal.....but she did not develope normally.....(they think it's autism) anyhow, they SAY it's required here....but I find it funny that I never heard about it until my 3rd baby and 2nd born in this state.

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It's a common thing here, not so much there I guess?

They schedule an appt for about a week after birth.

xx

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Someone came in to do a hearing screening at the hospital. It was quick and DH and I didn't understand at all how it worked. Didn't seem to bother Sophia at all, took about 2 minutes, and didn't look invasive in the slightest. She passed fine.

I didn't know it was law to have it done, though. Kind of weird. They did kind of have a "we do this all the time, it's pretty standard" attitude.

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I am almost positive the midwives will not and do not administer hearing tests. After I had my daughter (at a free-standing birth center) the midwives gave me a list of the audiologists around the area to have her screening done. When I went to her first doctor appt when she was about a month old I asked my doc and he made a referral for a screening test. I never went to it though!! I knew she could hear and I just didn't feel like driving 30 mins with both kids to do it (my hubby was gone at work all the time so wouldn't be able to watch my son while I went) ! I know that sounds horrible but its true. I never heard of it being required my law so not sure about that?

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They stick a little ear-plug type thing in the baby's ear (it doesn't hurt) and it makes a noise and they watch for the baby's startle reflex. They can fail the first time because they might have fluid or vernix in their ears from the birth. It's certainly not required by law here... seems weird that it would be.

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I'm pretty sure my DD had the newborn hearing screening, but I don't remember DS having one--they were born in different states. I googled it, and this website (http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/Health/NewbornHearingScreeningLaws/tabid/14382/Default.aspx#State_Laws) has a list of all the state laws relating to hearing screening. The state where DD was born has a law requiring facilities that have over 100 births a year to do them unless the parent/guardian rejects on religious grounds (I guess that would mean if you have a homebirth, your baby doesn't have to be tested), the state where DS was born does not have a law about it at all.

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law is relative- like all those blood test screenings for certain genetic disorders that have to be done at birth and some vaccines Smile its more like "policy" and there are always ways around it. Given that, its not a test i have a problem with and i see no point in declining because its non-invasive, and currently my only option is a hospital birth so i just let it go.

vaccines we'll be arguing about.

also, if they wanted me to make a separate appointment, especially one far away, for a 2 minute test that the chances are good that the baby will fail and have to retake, i'd tell them to stuff it. the just do it real quick in the hospital here so i am good with it.

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I opted out of hearing screening for both babies. My mw's didn't bat an eye. To have it required seems very odd.

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[QUOTE=emansmom]I am almost positive the midwives will not and do not administer hearing tests. QUOTE]

Yes, this.....I should have said all my babies have been home births.

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All babies are screened here (unless you decline). Either in the hospital or at the public health unit for home births. It is a quick test that measures the vibrations of their ear drums using a little ear plug.

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i know our midwives don't do it and recommend going to the pedi or the hospital

jooniper's picture
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Thanks for the info, everyone, particularly Brittany for that link. Looks like the pedi was half right- it is required, but only in facilities with lots of births.
If it were offered to us and easily obtained and paid for, we'd do it, but... we won't be going out of our way for it, especially since she does seem to startle at noises pretty well.

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My birth center performs the hearing screen. I went in 3 days PP and they did the hearing screen and first genetic screen. The nurse would have come to my house but I felt up for the drive. It's not the kind of hearing test you probably remember getting in grade school. In fact, it can be done when the baby is sleeping. The instrument (like a little ear bud) they stick in the baby's ear emits a sound and detects the vibration of the inner ear. It does not however tell you if the sound is transmitted up to the brain. So, even if the baby has passed the hearing test, it's still important to take note if they are responding to noises.

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My midwife will be doing our newborn hearing test.

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Ours tried at our two day checkup but the machine wasn't working right--it failed me and DH too, and the nurse--and we never went back for a follow up. I'm quite sure she can hear just fine.

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That is odd to have a hearing screening as required. My MW didn't do one but the ICU we were discharged did. I didn't even know they did them to newborns. Ironically our ped. asked about it as well. Never came up with DS1 but maybe he had one in the hospital I wasn't aware of.

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It's required by law here, as well but with my last baby I never did get it done. There are a few homebirth midwives in my area that offer this service but most have you make an appointment elsewhere to have it done.

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My midwife said that its required here in FL and our pediatrician would do it. But, since baby was born early and had to be transferred to the NICU, they said they did it there and gave us a little paper saying he passed.

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The health department does them here for free. However, the one in our town's machine is broken at the moment. We were going to have it done when we went and applied for his birth certificate. They will do them free up until 3 months.
The doctor had to order all of the newborn blood tests since my midwife doesn't do them at all. We spent a couple hours at the lab getting all of them done (PKU, blood type, bilirubin..and some other stuff. Just the heel stick.)

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All 3 of mine had it and all 3 passed the first try, but all 3 were hospital births so it was just done before we were discharged. My 1 year old is getting another hearing test next week due to frequent ear infections so while I've never cared much about it before I am glad we had it done with him so we had a 'base' in that we knew everything was fine then. It was very simple and they actually wanted to do it while my kids were sleeping, they said it was just easier and they got more accurate results.

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My kids were both born in the hospital, and they did it while they were sleeping. They don't put anything in the ear, it's six or eight little pads placed on the head. Some of them emit tones at various frequencies, and others register the brain waves that result. When Weston was born they said he wasn't hearing low frequencies in one ear, so they scheduled one of his ped appointments for a day when a pediatric audiologist was in the office. Had either of my kids been born at home, I could either do the same thing or take the baby to the audiology department. They like to have the test done within two weeks of birth as a baseline, it's included in my HMO's well-baby coverage.

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My first had hers done in the hospital. With my second (home birth) we went to an audiologist. With my third (home birth) I think we never did it. With my fourth and fifth (both home births) my midwife did the hearing screening at one of our postpartum exams.

I think the screening is important. Some types of hearing loss may not prevent a baby from startling to sounds, but may be severe enough to prevent speech acquisition. You need to watch for milestones like babbling, repeating sounds and words, etc. The earlier you catch the problem, the earlier you can make modifications in how you communicate with your baby so that you can lessen potential language delays.

As someone said previously in this thread, the test is painless and short. It doesn't catch babies whose hearing loss is due to problems with the nerve, but it does catch problems with the cochlea.

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"Winky_the_HouseElf" wrote:

My first had hers done in the hospital. With my second (home birth) we went to an audiologist. With my third (home birth) I think we never did it. With my fourth and fifth (both home births) my midwife did the hearing screening at one of our postpartum exams.

I think the screening is important. Some types of hearing loss may not prevent a baby from startling to sounds, but may be severe enough to prevent speech acquisition. You need to watch for milestones like babbling, repeating sounds and words, etc. The earlier you catch the problem, the earlier you can make modifications in how you communicate with your baby so that you can lessen potential language delays.

As someone said previously in this thread, the test is painless and short. It doesn't catch babies whose hearing loss is due to problems with the nerve, but it does catch problems with the cochlea.

Yes! I have a child who has a hearing impariment.
He jummped at loud sounds and even turned to voices. He was feeling the vibration. At 10 months he was aided and is a diffrent baby. Still at being aided that early he has speech problems. BTW he did not pass the newborn screen. It is one test that we do not op out of (and I op out of lots) as it is not harmful and has no sideffects only gives you a basline for the hearing. It is important that they start intervention before 18 months with hearing impaired children, and if you don't know you may just think you have a late talker on your hands. Early intervention is so important and if they can help I say why not?