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What Lab Tests Will My Baby Need After Birth?

What Lab Tests Will My Baby Need After Birth?

If you’re an expectant mother about to welcome a new little one into the world, you’re about to embark on one of the most exciting times of your life. In the midst of joyful emotions, it’s important to know about some practical considerations ahead, such as ensuring your newborn receives their necessary health care screenings.

One aspect involves lab tests your baby will need after birth. These tests play a vital role in monitoring your newborn’s health and identifying any potential issues early on. 

Our pediatric specialists at Northeast Pediatric Associates PA explain the essential lab tests your newborn may need and why they’re important.

They include:

Blood tests

Shortly after birth, your baby will undergo a series of blood tests to screen for various conditions. One of the most common tests is the newborn metabolic screening, also known as the heel prick test. 

This test checks for metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria (PKU), hypothyroidism, and cystic fibrosis. Detecting these conditions early allows for prompt intervention and management, which can significantly improve your baby's long-term health outcomes.

Bilirubin test

Jaundice is a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes and is relatively common in newborns. It develops when your baby has elevated levels of bilirubin, which is a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. 

A bilirubin test helps determine if your baby's jaundice requires treatment, such as phototherapy, to prevent complications.

Blood typing and Rh factor

Understanding your baby's blood type and Rh factor is important for future medical care, particularly in cases where the mother and baby have incompatible blood types. This information helps our medical team take necessary precautions to prevent complications such as hemolytic disease in your newborn.

Hearing screening

A hearing screening can determine if your baby has hearing loss, which can affect language development and overall communication skills. Most newborns undergo a hearing screening shortly after birth to identify any hearing impairment early on. Early intervention services can then be initiated to support your baby's auditory development.

Critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) screening

This noninvasive test aims to detect congenital heart defects that may not be apparent at birth. By assessing the oxygen levels in your baby's blood, healthcare providers can identify potential cardiac issues early, allowing for timely intervention and management.

Screening for infectious diseases

Depending on the region and local guidelines, newborns may undergo screening for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis. Early detection of these infections enables your medical team to initiate appropriate treatment and preventive measures to safeguard your baby's health.

Early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in managing potential health conditions and setting the stage for a healthy future for your child.  If you have questions, we’re here to help. As newborn care specialists, we can explain more about the purpose and significance of each test to help you feel at ease and know what’s ahead for your little one.


We want to work closely with you to give your baby the best possible start in life. Book an appointment with us today to learn more by calling or booking online at the office nearest you in San Antonio, North Central San Antonio, Schertz, or Castroville, Texas. We also offer telehealth.

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