Parent Resources Billing InformationHealth LibraryNew Parent ResourcesChoosing a PediatricianInterviewing a PediatricianWhat to Pack in Your Hospital BagNewborn Well Child ScheduleNew Patient Forms Newborn Screening As a new parent, the first couple of days of your new baby’s life can be a blur. There are countless physician and nurse check-ins, an endless rotating door of visitors, incredible amounts of information to take in, and all of this on a new parent’s paltry sleep schedule. In all of this activity is one critically important health test: newborn screening. What is newborn screening? Newborn screening is a program that screens – or checks – all newborn babies for a group of about 80 genetic and congenital disorders. In California, it’s required that all newborn babies are screened between 12 and 48 hours after birth. The screening is done with a sample of a newborn baby’s blood that is collected via a “heel stick,” or a tiny poke of a baby’s heel that allows a small sample of blood to be drawn. The goal of newborn screening is that, if one of the genetic conditions is detected, treatment can begin right away. What types of disorders are included in newborn screening? Currently, newborn screening in California includes about 80 genetic or congenital disorders. The list of disorders is determined by the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), developed by the federal-level Department of Health and Human Services. You can find the list of all conditions included in California’s newborn screening program on the California Department of Public Health’s website. Where can I find more information about newborn screening? We encourage you to learn more about newborn screening before the birth of your baby. Begin by asking your baby’s pediatrician any questions you may have about the screening process. You can learn more about California’s newborn screening program by visiting the program’s webpage or by visiting BabysFirstTest.org, an informational site supported by the Department of Health and Human Services.