Information for Parents
What You Should Know About Newborn Screening
The newborn screen is a blood test for over forty disorders including some secondary conditions and requires only five drops of blood from a baby's heel. In Alabama, it also includes screening for hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease. These tests are required by the state of Alabama, and all babies should have a newborn screen before leaving the hospital.
Newborns can still have a disorder even though they may look healthy. A baby has a greater chance for healthy growth and development if a disorder is found early. Early diagnosis may reduce morbidity, premature death, intellectual disability, and other developmental disabilities. Parents are notified, usually by their baby's doctor, if a screen is presumptive positive for a particular disorder. A presumptive positive screen does not necessarily mean that a baby is sick. Additional testing may need to be completed to confirm a disorder.
Please give the hospital your correct address, phone number, and name of the doctor who will take care of your baby to make sure you are notified of any presumptive positive results. Ask about your baby's newborn screening results at the first doctor visit. If your baby's doctor asks you to return for a repeat test please do so as soon as possible so your baby can get appropriate treatment and follow-up care if needed.
What to Expect From Your Baby's First Test
Newborn screening is one of the many things that will happen within the first few days after a baby's birth. Parents-to-be may have questions about newborn screening. The video below explains what to expect during a baby's first test, and walks parents through the heel stick, hearing and pulse ox screenings.
Newborn Hearing - Learn American Sign Language Online
Parents who have a deaf or hard of hearing child age 36 months or younger have the opportunity to learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at no cost. To participate in Sign It! you must apply through the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM).
Newborn Screening Videos
Below are links to newborn screening videos which provide an overview of the process, purpose, and importance of Newborn Screening. These videos are a great resource to answer many of the questions you may have about Newborn Screening. If you have additional questions about Newborn Screening in Alabama, please contact the Alabama Newborn Screening Program at (866) 928-6755.
- What is Newborn Screening?
- What to Expect From Your Baby's First Test
- A Parent's Guide to Newborn Screening
- Newborn Screening Bloodspot
- My Baby Has a Hearing Loss: A Starting Guide for Parents
- Critical Congenital Heart Disease - Pulse Oximetry Screening
- Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID)
- SCID - A Family's Journey through Isolation
- SCID Compass- An Educational Program of the Immune Deficiency Foundation
Newborn Screening Results
Please visit the Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in order to complete the patient request for release of completed laboratory results form in order to obtain your child's newborn screening results. Laboratory test results are issued only to the person on whom testing was performed, to the person who consented to have the testing performed, or if under 19, to a parent or guardian, or the person authorized by the patient to receive the results.
Alabama Early Intervention System (AEIS)
Early intervention is a coordinated, family-focused system of resource access, supports and services for eligible infants and toddlers, ages birth to 3 years who have developmental delays, which means that a child is not growing as expected, physically and/or mentally. Infants may be delayed in walking, talking, speaking, learning or understanding.
AEIS is a statewide system that offers eligible families the opportunity to receive appropriate services, including assistive technology, audiology, family therapy, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, psychological services, service coordination, special instruction, social work, speech language pathology, medical services, transportation, vision and health services, and physical therapy.
For more information about early intervention call the toll-free number at 1-800-543-3098 or to enroll for services complete the Child Find Referral Form and fax to 334-293-7393.
- Alabama Newborn Screening Timeline
- Baby's First Test: Newborn Screening
- Baby's First Test: Critical Congenital Heart Disease
- Children's Rehabilitation Service
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Delivering You The Facts: Four Things You Should Know About Newborn Screening
- HCU (Homocystinuria) Network America
- March of Dimes
- National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation
- Newborn Screening Frequently Asked Questions
- Organic Acidemia Association
- Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
- Prenatal and Newborn Screening Pamphlet
- Save Babies Through Screening Foundation: One Foot at a Time
- Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.
Disclaimer: The information provided is purely an educational resource for parents. Please contact a medical provider for further guidance.
Page last updated: December 17, 2019