Compassionate Newborn Services at UPMC
After a baby is born, a screening is usually conducted. The newborn screening typically includes three tests that evaluate the baby’s health within their first day of life. All babies born at UPMC receive a universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) before discharge. This screening is to identify infants with possible hearing loss, and refer them for additional services as needed.
Additional maternity services we offer include:
- Post-delivery care
- Postpartum physical therapy
- Breastfeeding support
- Postpartum depression treatment
Why Newborn Screening Is Performed
Babies receive screening tests to check for potentially serious health conditions right after birth. If doctors find abnormalities in the test results, early treatment can minimize or prevent later health problems for the baby.
What to Expect
Your baby will undergo three newborn screening tests, preferably within the first day of life or before leaving the hospital.
The screening includes:
- Blood test. A member of the postnatal care team, usually a nurse, will prick the baby’s heel to get a few drops of blood for analysis. While the screening results do not definitively confirm health conditions, they identify babies who should undergo further evaluation. The test is brief, but the baby will feel pain from the puncture.
- Hearing test. A postnatal care staff member will put a small speaker into the baby’s ear to evaluate how he or she responds to sound. The test will check for hearing loss. It lasts only a few minutes and is not painful.
- Critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) test. The healthcare provider will attach a sensor to the baby’s hand or foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The test is short and painless, and it will help identify potential heart problems.
This guides the healthcare team on additional diagnostic tests and necessary treatment. There are no known risks to the baby for these tests besides the brief pain the blood test causes.
Next Steps After Newborn Screening
If the screening results come back negative, the baby will not usually need any more testing for these conditions. If the test results are in the abnormal range, the baby may need the test again to rule out a false positive.
A doctor might also recommend other tests to ensure a correct diagnosis and determine a treatment plan, or may refer you and your baby to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment if necessary.
Birth Certificate and Social Security Card
The birth certificate information that you provide for your baby while in the hospital is sent to the Commonwealth of PA Department of Vital Statistics. Their phone number is (800) 323-9613.
Your baby's Social Security card is also mailed to your home. The birth certificate will arrive in three months and the Social Security card should arrive about a week later. If you move, make sure to fill out a change of address card at the post office to ensure that you receive the certificate.
You may also contact The Birthplace in Williamsport at 570-321-2069, the Maternity Unit in Coudersport at 814-274-7101, or the Maternity Unit in Wellsboro at 570-723-0375.
When a child is born, a unit clerk provides the newborn's mother and father with an opportunity to complete a form acknowledging paternity. This form must be signed by both parents. The unit clerk sends it to the Department of Public Welfare. Each of the birth parents receives a copy.