We all want to know our baby is happy and healthy. Hospitals already offer the blood spot or “heel prick” test that lets you know if your baby has 1 of 9 health conditions. These health conditions include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria and 4 other serious but treatable conditions.

But what if we could dig a little deeper? What if we could see if our baby is predisposed to a much larger pool of diseases that might influence how we go about raising our little one?

The well-known show Woman’s Hour chatted to Vivienne Parry and Rebecca Middleton of Genomic England about this possibility. 

 Read on if you’re curious.

Genome Sequencing 

Genome sequencing is looking at DNA and figuring out the sequence. The process is much more complicated than that but understating a genome of a specific person can help us to understand what makes that individual unique.

Furthermore, you can also check for mutations in the genome which could be indicative of a disorder or a disease.

Sequencing for Babies 

The newborn spot test is offered to all mums, and it is not a compulsory test. It is a good option though so have a discussion to have with your midwife. This test does cover a good range of health conditions but what if you could find out even more health issues your baby may be predisposed to?

Let’s introduce you briefly to the Newborn Genomes Programme

As discussed in the Woman’s Hour segment Vivienne Parry of Genomic England and Rebecca Middleton who works for Genomic on the panel representing parents and health care professionals are working on a project talk about further genomic sequencing for newborns.

The project aims to widen the number of diseases tested for, to help parents make early changes to keep their babies healthy. The way it will work is a sample of blood or saliva will be taken from baby and then tested against actionable genetic conditions that may affect their early life.

This project is being created by Genomic England, working closely with health care professionals as well as parents to figure out both the benefits and potential downfalls of this sort of testing.

This testing has some interesting potential. Working with both the professionals for technical elements and parents for more of the ethical dilemmas, most people seem to agree that this idea is great but needs to be done right.

The team hope to launch the research pilot in mid-2023 to evaluate whether this project could work.

Baby Insight 

Being aware of things that could affect your baby’s health early can mean you put in place measures to keep your child as healthy as possible. We here at Cells4Life offer an extra service alongside our cord blood banking.

BabyInsight is a DNA screening that can tell you if your baby is predisposed to 5 different manageable conditions that would manifest at a young age. You can use this information to make informed choices about your child’s health.

It can be added to the other services we provide, and we can either take a small sample of the cord blood or you can use a cheek swab that is included in your kit.

If you are curious about any of our services do feel free to get in contact or order a welcome kit.

Request a Welcome Pack

Find out more about cord blood banking by downloading a Welcome Pack now.

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    For further information on genomic sequencing please look at the Genomic England website.

    None of the information on this website pertains to medical advice. For medical advice and support with your healthcare please speak to your designated Healthcare provider.

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