While you are in hospital, our midwives will support you in learning to care for your baby including bathing and changing a nappy. All our midwives can assist with breastfeeding. Your baby will remain with you, in a cot next to your bed, for the duration of your hospital stay.
Newborn screening – heel-prick test
Newborn screening is a simple blood test that helps to identify rare but serious conditions. The test is done within three days after your baby’s birth, before symptoms are obvious. This is so treatment can start before a condition causes problems. The midwife will prick your baby’s heel and collect a few drops of blood on special filter paper. The filter paper is dried, then sent to a laboratory where your baby’s blood is tested for different conditions. If you’re discharged from hospital early, the home visiting midwife can collect your baby’s blood sample at your home. If you live outside the catchment area for the home visiting midwife you may be required to come back to unit for this to be performed.
Newborn screening can pick up signs of more than 25 rare conditions. These conditions might not be obvious before babies are born. Newborn screening doesn’t tell you whether your baby definitely has a particular condition. It tells you that your baby is at increased risk for a condition. You’ll be offered newborn screening in the first 48-72 hours after your baby’s birth.
More information: Raising children- newborn screening
Universal newborn hearing screening
The Health Hearing program aims to identify babies born with a permanent hearing loss. It is free and available to all babies born in Queensland who are Medicare eligible. A hearing screen does not hurt your baby. A trained health professional will place several small pads gently on your baby’s head and a soft earphone with be lightly placed over each ear. Soft clicking sounds are then played into your baby’s ear. The pads will record your baby’s responses to the sounds.
More information: Queensland Government: Your baby’s hearing screen
Following the birth of your baby, regardless of which option of care you chose, your GP and Child Youth and Family Health Service can provide ongoing support.