Importance of New Born Screening

NBS or Newborn screening is a procedure done shortly after birth to find out if the baby has congenital metabolic disorders that may lead to mental retardation and even death if left untreated.

 

Phenylketonuria testing.jpg

 

If you are an expectant mother, it is best recommended for your newborn to undergo NBS.  It is better for us to make sure that our newborn child is healthy, for we will never know if our baby has a disorder until the onset of signs and symptoms and sometimes ill effects are already irreversible in due time. Our baby may look normal after birth, but with the technology on hand, I think it is best that we took advantage of it.

 

A baby is screened at least 24 to 48 hours from birth. Another screening is done again after two weeks to get more accurate results. The approach is done using the heel prick method; only a few drops of blood are needed to process test and screening results.  Blood samples are screened by NBS laboratory.  Results will be available and released after 7 days to three weeks, to be sent back to the hospital where you gave birth. According to DOH (Department of Health) the New Born Screening fee is only Php 550, another Php50 has to be paid for the collection of the sample blood. If ever a baby is positive with the test, a specialist should be consulted for confirmatory testing.

 

Disorders included in the Newborn Screening Package are:

  • Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH)  –  the absence of thyroid hormone, which is essential to growth of the brain and the body. This is one of the causes of mental retardation.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) – an endocrine disorder that causes severe salt lose, dehydration and abnormally high levels of male sex hormones in both boys and girls.  If not properly treated, it may cause death within 7-14 days.
  • Galactosemia (GAL) – is the condition in which the body is unable to process galactose, the sugar present in milk. Accumulation of excessive galactose in the body can cause many problems, including liver damage, brain damage and cataracts.
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) – a metabolic disorder in which the body cannot properly use one of the building blocks of protein called phenylalanine. Excessive accumulation of phenylalanine in the body causes brain damage.
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (G6PD Def) – deficiency is a condition where the body lacks the enzyme called G6PD. Babies with this deficiency may have hemolytic anemia resulting from exposure to certain drugs, foods and chemicals.

 

For more detailed information, you may ask your ob-gyne on your next pre-natal check up.

 

Source: www.doh.gov.ph

Image source: “Phenylketonuria testing” by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Eric T. Sheler – USAF Photographic Archives (image permalink). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

5 Safe Remedies for Teething

So, now that we have 6 month mark with my sweet baby, Norah. I have noticed the signs of teething. I am not a fan of teething, myself and neither is Norah. We both do not get good sleep, and it is hard to see my baby hurting. But as a momma you want the best and safest method for helping to remedy the teething symptoms.

teething

Here are a few things that I have come across that seems to help sooth baby and me.

1. Amber Teething Jewelry: This is a new one for me, I am not sure how long they have been around. When my 3 year old was teething (when he was much younger) I had never heard of anything like this. Now that I have a new baby, I was gifted an Amber necklace. The necklace is an immune booster and reducing pain and inflammation. They are to be worn around baby’s neck, not a chew toy!

2. Teething Tablets: There are many different brands of teething tablets, Hylands makes an all natural product that is great. These very small and quick dissolving, they provide quick relief and are safe.

3. Camilia Teething Medicine: Another homeopathic product is the Camilia Teething medicine. It is an all natural liquid that comes in single use dosages, so it is sanitary as well.

4. Cold Cloth: Take a clean wash cloth and wet is down, place it in a plastic baggy and put it in the freezer. After it is good and cold give it to your aching little one. This will help reduce swelling on the gums and catch the excess drool.

5. Gripe Water: I love gripe water! It is great for hiccups and tummy aches as well as teething pain. It is all natural and I am pretty sure it taste good, my baby girl loves it. There are several brands and can be found at any major retailer or drug store.

When it comes to baby safety when teething, I try to avoid the frozen foods. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to choking, so I just don’t mess around with gnawing on carrots, frozen foods and such. Also, when it comes to any medication (all natural or not) you always want to make sure there isn’t a recall on the product. It is always best to double check! You are doing a great job, momma. Keep it up!

Larah Shelton is a blogger for Smith Monitoring, a company that provides Kansas City home security all the way to home security systems in San Antonio, TX. When she is not blogging she is loving on her 2 kids, Jude and Norah and relaxing with her husband, Lee.

Photo credits:  amazon.com

Recommended Immunizations and Vaccinations for Babies

Childhood immunizations are best recommended to protect our children from infectious diseases and illnesses. These immunizations are administered in an outpatient procedure. Make sure to always bring the baby book of immunization records with you every time you and your child go to your health center or preferred pediatrician. 

The following are the complete recommended immunizations for babies at birth up to 4 years old: 

At birth or within the first month after birth 
(or within the first 12 months after birth for catch up)
First dose – Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
At birth (or within the first 2 months)
One injection –  Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG)
1 to 2 months old (or at least four weeks after the first dose)
Second dose – Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
6 weeks to 2 months old
First dose – Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-7)
2 months old
First dose      
                        1. Diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell/acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine(DTwP / DTaP)
                        2. Oral/Inactivated polio vaccine  (OPV / IPV)
                        3. Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HiB)
                        4. Rotavirus vaccine ((Depending on the brand, it is administered either in two or three doses, at least four months apart)
4 months old
Second dose  
                           1. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-7)
                           2. Diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell/acellular pertussis (whooping cough)   vaccine (DTwP / DTaP)
                           3. Oral/Inactivated polio vaccine  (OPV / IPV)
                           4. Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HiB)
6 months old
A. Third dose  
                          1. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-7)
                          2. Diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell/acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (DTwP / DTaP)
                          3. Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HiB)
B. Influenza vaccine
For those receiving it for the first time, two doses at four weeks apart are required. Since the flu virus changes from year to year, an annual vaccination is recommended.
6 to 8 months old
Third dose      Oral/Inactivated polio vaccine (OPV / IPV)
6 to 18 months old
Third dose      Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
9 to 12 months old
First dose      Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) vaccine (MMR)
12 months old
First dose       Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA)
12 to 15 months old
Fourth dose    Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-7)
12 to 18 months old
First dose        Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
15 to 18 months old
First dose       
                          1. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine booster shot (PCV-7 booster)
                          2. Diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell/acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine booster shot (DTwP / DTaP booster)
                          3. Oral/Inactivated polio vaccine booster shot (OPV / IPV booster)
                          4. Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine booster shot (HiB booster)
18 to 24 months old
Second dose ++  Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA)

2 years old
One injection   
                            1. Typhoid vaccine
                            2. Meningococcal vaccine
4 to 6 years old
Second dose +++   
                                  1. Diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell/acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine booster shot (DTwP / DTaP booster)
Second dose         
                                  2. Oral/Inactivated polio vaccine booster shot (OPV / IPV booster)
                                  3. Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) vaccine (MMR)
                                  4. Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
+ In case of outbreaks, MMR can be given as early as 6 months old.
++ The second dose of the HepA vaccine is given six to 12 months after the first dose.
+++ A third dose of DTwP / DTaP booster is given beyond the age 6 years old, and then every 10 years thereafter.
If ever a child misses a shot, he does not need to start over again, ask your pediatrician/doctor on the next shots to be administered to keep the child up-to-date on his vaccinations.
Sources:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/infants/rec-iz-babies.htm
                  http://www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/health/immunisationchart/

Cordlife, a lifetime family protection against diseases

This is a call for pregnant women out there.  Have you heard of Cordlife? 
It is the latest innovation in health technology wherein one can have the option to store and save the blood remains from the umbilical cord of your newborn,  which may later become potential and valuable resource material for future medical use and life saving treatments for the family.
Studies have proven – the blood that remains in your newborn’s umbilical cord after the cord has been cut has a rich source of stem cells; it will be collected, processed and stored in a cord blood bank. In the past, we usually discard the umbilical cord after birth or in some cases, because of superstitious beliefs they get it after birth, have it dried then enclose it inside the pages of a book or dictionary believing that it will make their child more brainy as he grows up.
The cord blood functions in helping  the immune and blood system after a chemotherapy where there is a bone marrow failure.  It may be used to treat 80 diseases or more. Diseases like leukemia, immune deficiencies, metabolic disorders, other cancers and blood disorders. It is also suggested in the treatment of cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders and injuries, Type 1 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases and many more. Cord blood stem cells also shows significant potential to treat conditions that have no cure today like juvenile diabetes and brain injury.
According to the cord bank, the cord blood stem cells can be stored for at least 15 years and will still have the same composition as they did when they were stored. It will be instantly available for the family if needed. 
Cord blood banking is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for parents to save the stem cells found in the blood of their newborn’s umbilical cord. Cordlife in the Philippines became operational in 2005. How I wish it was already available 20 years ago when I first gave birth. It is really a very amazing medical breakthrough for it offers life protection for the family.
To know more you can visit www.cordlifelimited.com/ph/