One of our top priorities is making sure that our little Asher is healthy, and hence happy. However sometimes there are certain genetic, metabolic, or infectious condition that couldn’t be prevented, but can be detected early for the best course of action.
This is why we have decided to give go for cord blood banking and to give our baby an extended newborn screening test called Metascreen.
What is Newborn Metabolic Screening?
It is a screening for every newborn for many harmful or potentially fatal metabolic disorders (also known as inborn errors of metabolism, or IEMs for short) that are not apparent at birth. An inborn error of metabolism (IEM) is a rare genetic disorder where the affected baby lacks certain enzymes that maintain normal bodily metabolic function, causing the build-up of toxic substances or deficiency of critical substances required for development.
Why Get Tested?
Newborn screening detects metabolic disorders that can cause developmental issues and lifelong complications such as mental retardation, physical disability and in some instances, death, if it is left untreated.
Scientific literature suggests that approximately 2-5% of newborns are affected by genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities which includes metabolic disorders. Although metabolic disorders are individually rare, but when taken cumulatively, the incidence rate is quite high.
For example, in Malaysia, collectively about 1 in every 1,500 individuals is expected to be affected with a metabolic disorder.Screening your newborn will facilitate early treatment and prevent long term detrimental effects to your baby’s health.
When Should My Baby Get Tested
Ideally, you should screen your baby between 2 to 7 days after birth. Although some severe metabolic disorders manifest very early, there are some inherited metabolic disorders that have late onset, or the affected individual may appear normal as long as there is no triggering events.
If your newborn baby has not yet been tested for metabolic disorders, it will still be beneficial for her to take Metascreen® test at 1-6 months of age to detect less severe variants of metabolic disorders and/or before she experiences triggering events, such as long period of fasting, or increase exposure to certain substances.
The kit for Metascreen was given to us prior to baby’s birth (the one in blue envelope). There were instructions on how to do it and also a paid postage envelope for us to send baby’s urine kit back. A day after I gave birth, we asked the help of the nurses in the hospital for urine collection. Our baby’s urine can be easily collected by inserting filter paper into the diaper without causing any harm or discomfort to him. They returned the kit to us and we posted it back to StemLife. As easy as ABC!
We then got the results 2 weeks after and and the results were negative. There is a little booklet that explains and teaches you how to interpret the result.
We are thankful and glad to know that our baby is healthy and free from all 100+ disorders!
For more information, please refer to https://www.metascreen.com.my/