Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I submit my baby to genetic testing?"
Hi. I want the best for my baby. Should I have her genetically tested to make sure nothing is wrong.
First of all, by law in all states in the United States, newborns are automatically tested (with the "heel stick filter paper" method) for many of the most serious genetic diseases. Therefore, assuming your baby was born in a hospital and has regular medical care from your pediatrician, then they have probably already been tested for many genetic diseases. Other than this, it is generally not common practice to go looking for other genetic conditions unless there is something concerning. For example if your baby is sick and not doing well, not growing well, having seizures, has deformities, or other concerning signs, then your pediatrician may recommend a more extensive workup for genetic conditions, including more complete laboratory tests and a referral to a pediatrics genetics specialist. This is very unlikely to be necessary, however, in the absence of very concerning findings. Therefore I would say that it is not something you should pursue unless your pediatrician is recommending it. In general, the most helpful thing you can do to ensure that your baby is healthy is take them to their regular checkups with the pediatrician. There, your baby will be well examined and their growth will be checked to make sure it is adequate.
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