Anyone else have states this intense about PKU?
I am due August 1 with #5. With my youngest (born in Nevada), they typically screen newborns sometime before leaving the hospital and then again 2 weeks later. I declined the PKU screening at 24 hours and only did the screen at 2 weeks. Everyone was fine with it, especially given that I wasn't arguing the importance of the screening only the timing at which it was done.
Now we live in Nebraska. I am delivering at a free standing birth center. I will likely go home 4-6 hours after birth. I went to my "going home" class on Thursday and they said they do the PKU before we leave and then again 24 hours later when we have our post-natal follow up. I spoke to my midwife at my appointment today about not doing the first screening and only doing the 24 hour one (I really wanted to skip it altogether and do it in 2 weeks at my ped, but I thought I would start here and feel out the water). I said I was confused by the information out there, including the information in the packet they sent home from the class, that said a screen done at under 24 hours wasn't terribly accurate and that I wasn't sure what they did it before we left and then again 24 hours later. I asked if I could just skip the first one and do the 24 hours one.
She kind of smiled and said she really wished that could happen. Apparently, Nebraska state law says that baby must be tested before you go home and then again at the baby's follow up. She said when they first opened (a year and a half ago) they brought in the Nebraska state medical guy (she said his actual title, I cant remember it) and they went before a judge (Maybe not a judge, the part of the who and the where is a little foggy because I got distracted by one of my kids) and basically they were told that once mom and baby leave there is no guarantee they will return so the state has to make sure they get the blood when they can. She said she argued the point that the population she serves (women who choose to deliver at a free standing birth center -the only in NE & homebirth is illegal- which is often not covered 100% by insurance if it is covered at all) don't not come back. That women who choose to birth at the center do so because they can have more control over their care and they do return. SHe was basically told the law is the law and they weren't budging. So, they bucked the system for awhile and didn't do it before discharge but only at the return visit. Then the attorney general started harassing new parents telling them they needed to bring their baby in immediately (as in, "come with me now") to be screened or he would call CPS and have their child removed and they would be arrested. Having the attorney general involved in my life is not something I'm interested in so we are just going to go ahead with the screening. It's something I would do anyway, but it isn't as accurate before 24 hours, so I just wanted to avoid an uneccessary heel prick.
It seems crazy to me though and a lot creepy that the state is this invested in getting the newborns screened immediately. The AG is a total douchebag from what I understand, so maybe I shouldnt be surprised but still. I know the screening is required in most (all?) states, but has anyone else heard of a state going to such lengths?