Explanation of the process, parties involved, link to the healthcare system and benefits and disadvantages of heel prick screening.
Newborn screening (newborn blood spot screening) can trace rare, serious disorders in newborns, making it possible to prevent the child from suffering irreversible health damage. Most disorders are hereditary, they can not be cured but they can be treated, with medication or a special diet, for example.
Being pregnant is very special. You will probably have many questions about your pregnancy and the various check-ups you will be invited to attend. What should you expect during a visit to the midwife, general practitioner (GP) or obstetrician? What tests and examinations are available? What about your diet, sport, work and taking medicine? This webpage offers information about these and many other topics. During pregnancy, you may experience pregnancy-related symptoms. Or in case of symptoms that require you to contact your midwife or obstetrician directly. These too are described on this webpage About this document This webpage contains general information about what pregnant women can normally expect in terms of care and information. In all cases, however, written information just supplements the details provided during the interview with the midwife, GP or obstetrician. Are you under the care of your GP? In that case, where it says ‘midwife’, please also read ‘GP’. Although the webpage focuses on you, the expectant mother, much of the information it contains is also relevant to your partner. There is a lot of additional information available. A list of websites and other sources is included at the end of this brochure. If you have any further questions, your midwife or obstetrician is there to help. It is also possible to download this information as a document and print it yourself. You will find the download link on this page
A small amount of blood is taken from the heel of your newborn child in the first week after birth. This blood is tested in a laboratory for a number of rare diseases. Early detection and treatment of these diseases can prevent or limit serious impairment of the physical and mental development of your child. Most of these diseases cannot be cured but they can be treated, for example with suitable medication or a diet.