May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Antenatal & Newborn Screening

1 min read

Screening for pregnant women and newborn babies

Some women can access maternity care later in their pregnancy, which often means they dont have access to all the screening tests available. Screening allows some conditions to be picked up early so you can make informed decisions. Its your choice whether to take part in screening or not, but its important you discuss screening with your midwife or doctor early in your pregnancy.

Screening for pregnant women

HIV screening will be offered to you with your first pregnancy blood tests. Most women will not have HIV. If you do, finding out early reduces the risk of HIV being passed to your baby.

Screening tests for Down syndrome and other conditions are available that can tell you the likelihood of your baby having Down syndrome or some other conditions. This screening can include an ultrasound scan and blood test.

Screening for newborn babies

  • Newborn metabolic screening tests your newborn babys blood for rare but life threatening disorders, so these can be picked up early and treated.
  • Newborn hearing screening checks your newborn babys hearing. If your baby can’t hear well there is help and support available.
  • For more information on these screening initiatives please go to, or talk to your midwife or doctor.

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