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Newborn screening

  • Newborn screening checks for serious but rare conditions at birth.
  • All babies get newborn screening. But each state decides which tests are required.
  • Ask your baby’s health care provider which test your baby will have.
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All babies get newborn screening

Your baby gets newborn screening tests before he leaves the hospital after birth. These tests look for rare but serious and mostly treatable health disorders that affect how the body works. Babies with these disorders often look healthy. But unless the condition is diagnosed and treated early, a baby can develop lasting physical problems or intellectual disabilities, or may even die.

Most likely, test results are normal. This means your baby probably doesn’t have any of the disorders. If the results are not normal, your baby’s provider can tell you if your baby needs more tests or treatment.  

In this section, find information on the kinds of health disorders that newborn screening checks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many health conditions should your baby be screened for?

The March of Dimes would like to see all babies in all states screened for at least 31 health conditions. Many of these health conditions can be treated if found early.

 

Today all states require newborn screening for at least 26 health conditions. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia screen for 29 of the 31 recommended conditions. Some states require screening for up to 50 or more. Ask your health care provider how many conditions your state requires.

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