There are certain blood tests offered routinely to all babies – newborn blood spot test, but usually when they are between 5 and 8 days old so it depends on your length of stay in hospital as to whether baby is offered these particular tests in hospital or at home. The blood test is done by pricking baby’s heel and obtaining 4 spots of blood onto a test card, the blood is then tested for several rare conditions that can be prevented or improved by early treatment.
Other times a blood test may be performed include:
- If a baby is ill and general health needs to be assessed, most commonly assessment of blood sugars.
- If the baby shows signs of significant jaundice.
- If Mum is Rhesus negative, but the blood is usually taken from the cord at birth to determine baby’s blood group and Rhesus factor.
If there is a reason to take blood from baby a midwife, doctor or other health professional should explain clearly the reasons why the blood test is recommended and ask for your consent prior to blood being taken.