Dec 222012
“You have to being her in hungry, upset, and crying. The test will take three hours to perform.” – Audiology clinic staff to mother who homebirthed her baby and wanted to do a routine hearing check on the newborn.
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 December 22, 2012  Home Birth, newborn, postpartum  Add comments

  34 Responses to ““You Have To Bring Her In Hungry, Upset, & Crying…””

  1. Because this is standard for all our patients from ages 3 days to 102 years old! Why, you ask? Oh, no reason, we just want everybody to fail the test so we sell more hearing aids.

    WTF, has this clinic ever even done a newborn exam?

  2. This is nonsense. The standard hearing test they perform in the hospital takes about five minutes, and it’s most accurate if the baby is sleeping. Too much crying or motion will throw off the test results.

    OP, I hope you called another clinic. Or got it done at the hospital. Or skipped it entirely rather than having these clowns handle your baby. (Or, more amusingly, had your pediatrician’s office call them and ask them what they thought they were doing.)

    • THIS! They actually did my son’s test in the middle of the night because a majority of the babies were sleeping. I had to hold him because he kept wiggling.

  3. In other words they’re bent on punishing you, and your baby, for daring to have a home birth! I can’t think of any other reason for them to insist on this. As a previous poster pointed out, the newborn hearing test in the hospital takes a few minutes and works best when baby is asleep.

    I hope you ran fast and far!

  4. lol No it doesn’t! I bet they also tried to claim the parents weren’t allowed there during those three hours too, right?

    OP, I hope you were able to get the test properly done without the hospital telling such pork pies!

  5. Oh for pete’s sake!I had a homebirth with my son and was hesitant to take him for his hearing check because of all the hoops I had to jump through since he wasn’t born in a hospital. When we finally did it, he was about 4 months old – which, I was informed, was the cutoff for when they would have to sedate him.
    The reality? We got the first appointment in the morning, I nursed him when we got to the hospital, slipped him in the Moby, and he slept through the whole thing. I even asked the audiologist if I needed to wake him for the test and she said it would be much more accurate if I didn’t.
    OP, I hope something similar worked out for you. It’s frustrating when hospitals seem to want to make things difficult just because we opted to have a baby at home.

  6. My son’s hearing exam was done while he was sleeping in his car seat. The Audiologist didn’t want to wake him so she had me shift the car seat slowly after she’d checked the first so she could check the second. I didn’t properly appreciate her at the time, but I do now. I didn’t know there was any other way to do it since his hospital test was done while he was asleep too (I wasn’t allowed to be there for the hospital test, but that’s what they said anyway).

  7. My son was born at home. His hearing test was done at my 1 week pp check at my midwifes office. She did it while he was nursing, and the only reason it took about 20 min was she said to wait till he was done on the first boob and was burped and settled on the second before doing the other ear so she didn’t “disturb his lunch”

  8. The tech did mine in the hospital room while she was asleep in my arms. They had to recheck one side bc she wiggled (even as a newborn she hated being touched by anyone but mommy) but the whole process took less than 10minutes and the tech apologized for interrupting my bonding time

  9. I’m wondering if they are looking to turn her in for neglect! ‘See how the baby hasn’t been fed and is so upset? Something must be going on… lets spend the first five minutes doing the test and the next 2hrs and 45min finding a reason to take this child’.

  10. My son was born at home and he had his hearing test a year later at my midwife’s house. She threw a get together for any clients who wanted it done and we each were called back one at a time, our kids were definitely not crying upset,

  11. Sure, if you want her to fail the test, this is correct. Usually, audiometry is better done on calm children. What a “WTF?!” statement!

  12. A routine newborn hearing test can be performed if the baby is sound asleep! And it takes about two minutes!

    So MEGA-FAIL!!

  13. My post is stuck in moderation. I’m sure it will show up soon.

  14. I was told something similar with my first for an eeg after seizures. They wanted me to keep him awake for four hours before the test so he would be asleep while they did it. Or maybe the staff person is just mean.

  15. My oldest failed her hearing test in the hospital in one ear mostly because she was fussy and wiggly and they couldn’t get an accurate check. I guess it was easier to refer me to the children’s hospital for a $1000+ test (all covered by insurance, thankfully) than to try and do the test properly later when she was sleepy, but whatever. They told me when scheduling me that she should be tired and hungry when I brought her, but on questioning it was so that she would nurse to sleep! Course when we got there and they asked how long ago she’d eaten, they were miffed that it was too recent because then they couldn’t SEDATE her.. I was like, like HELL you are sedating my 2 month old. NO. She’ll sleep. And she totally did. And, surprise, her hearing is fine. Actually at 5 years old I question the quality of her hearing sometimes @@

    • Yeah, the 3 hours part is what gets me on this one. Hungry and tired makes sense, because then you can lay baby down to sleep there. But EXPLAIN that, for heaven’s sake. It’s not that hard.

  16. I had a home birth and had no issues with the hearing test. He was about a week old and was in his car seat the whole time. This is total BS. I’m actually going to see if a friend of mine can do it with this baby. I didn’t know she did them with the last baby. Plus her daughter and I have the same home birth midwife, so I know she won’t have any issues with it.

  17. I had an out-of-hospital birth and just didn’t get around to getting my daughter’s hearing checked until she was … six months old? Sometime around then. They had to do a different test, but one that’s actually a bit more useful. And though it took more than five minutes, all I had to do was hold her on my lap in a sound booth and look straight forward while they ran the test. No wires, no needing her to be still… (which they tried as was a total failure). I’m kinda glad I went that route.

  18. I don’t think I got the hearing test done with any of my home birth kids. I got them checked at the ped within 48 hours and he asked if they could hear.
    And 3 hours? Seriously? Sounds like they planned to do a whole bunch more than checking the hearing. I’m thinking eye drops, hep b, vitamin K, blood work, maybe even a newborn exam – you know, all the things they’re assuming a home birth midwife wouldn’t know how to do.

  19. I’m pretty sure that my homebirth child has never had a hearing test. It never occurred to me that this could be a big deal?

  20. I have always wondered why that test is necessary anyway. My son failed his newborn test, but I could tell that he could hear because he responded to loud noises and even when I whispered to him. Frankly, I think it’s just annoying.

  21. My midwife recommends the hearing test because it’s easy and noninvasive and early intervention can go a long way when it comes to hearing problems, thereby preventing delay in hitting milestones. For my last homebirth, I went in when my son was about a week old and did the test while he was sleeping in his Ergo. For my upcoming homebirth, I will have the hearing test done at my midwife’s office, as she now has the ability to do it there. I’m not sure what the stats are on the hearing test as far as accuracy goes, but I have found it to be inoffensive. I definitely would not have gone to the appointment if I was the OP. Those people sound crazy.

  22. We had our son’s hearing checked within a few days of birth after a homebirth with no problem. He had to redo it another time because he was so fussy the first time and it just wouldn’t take, but passed it just fine when he slept through.

  23. Hmmm . . . I’ve had 8 kids now. 6 were all born at home and no newborn hearing test was ever done on any of them. They all hear fine. I know it is to catch things early, but I was aware of them and watched for signs that there might be a problem, like not startling at super loud noises, or turning to see where a sound was coming from. You can tell all that before the age of 1 without a newborn test.

  24. Yes, the newborn hearing screens are to detect hearing loss early so that early intervention services can be established. Keep in mind, it;s easy to say that you can “watch for” the signs of hearing loss, but that’s not always reliable. Before the newborn hearing screenings became routine and available, most children with hearing loss were NOT identified until AFTER their second birthday. Brith to age 3 is the most critical age for language learning, and even a child with a mild loss can can issues that impact their lanaguage development. Also know, depending on where you are, there are sometimes waiting lists for months for early intervention services. If your child is identified later than he or she would be as an infant, that wait list could further delay them getting necessary speech and language services before they age out of early intervention programs. Then you’re dealing with a language delay when they are ready to start preschool or Kindergarten, and they are lagging behind their peers. My son failed his test right after birth. I wasn’t too concerned. Sometimes it happens because of fluid in the ears. Had he been deaf, not a big deal either. I’m a sign language interpreter and worked in early intervention with kids with hearing loss, so I have resources. I’ve also worked in education settings with kids who were late identified (age 2 and up) and had English language skills (reading and writing) that were significantly behind their same age peers (3-4 years behind). Some of them never catch up. It’s a non invasive test. Statistics show that 90% of children born with hearing loss are born to parents with normal hearing, so family history can be a moot point. Better to catch it early that late. IMO

    • All the more reason fo the test to be conducted properly by someone who knows what the heck they are talking about. If they want the baby to sleep through the test then that is exactly what they should say, not “You have to being her in hungry, upset, and crying.” And the test does NOT take 3 hours. It is so much nicer to deal with competent professionals than to deal with the scare tactics of hacks!

    • I don’t think anyone is saying that the hearing test is a bad idea. My son is significantly speech-delayed; we got him help through the state IEP when he was 2, and he’s starting to catch up a little now (he’s in preschool).

      The problem with the quote is that it’s not only wrong, but seems unnecessarily punitive.

  25. I’m curious to see the pink link. Going by the original post, the mother requested a “routine hearing check.” If that was the case, and that was the phrase used by the parent to the audiology staff, the staff could easily misunderstand what test the parent is requesting. Newborn hearing screens test to see if auditory signals are getting to their destination. ABR and OAE testing looks at two specific areas. They also only test at limited frequencies. If you call and request a routine hearing check, they may think you mean a diagnostic eval, which DOES take 2-3 hours.

    My comments about early screening was a response the comment above my response regarding “testing” at home to see if they can startle to loud noises, etc. not being reliable.

    I agree that the staff person’s comment about the baby needing to be upset, etc is ridiculous.

    • I am the OP. I’m hoping my pink link would show up but it appears to be stuck in moderation. At first I called the hospital wanting the routine test and they referred me to this clinic. my first daughter (hospital birth) had to be retested at a week because she had too much vernix in her eat at birth. It was a simple test that only took a few minutes. I was pretty clear when I explained to this staff that that was the test I wanted. They were adamant that this was the test Every newborn got. I was skeptical, but scheduled the test. They ended up canceling on me because they called to ask an insurance question and instead of leaving me a voicemail asking their question they sent me a snail mail canceling my appointment. I never bothered to reschedule.

  26. That is such bull! My Home-birthed son was tested WHILE he was breastfeeding the whole test took 1 min.

  27. What?! When I brought in my home birthed bub for his hearing test he slept through it. So did my hospital born bub. The tech said they preferred it that way since the test still works if they’re sleeping but they don’t wriggle as much or get distracted.

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