Positive newborn screening (NBS) results cause significant parental distress, but little is known about how parents find out about children's screening results and what they are told. This qualitative, exploratory study reports on parents' perceptions of the initial communication of NBS results. Participants included the parents of 75 infants referred to a metabolic clinic in California over a 3-year period (2007-2010). Parents provided information about the initial communication of NBS results during audiotaped clinical encounters and open-ended interviews. Transcripts were analyzed inductively using thematic coding. Responses fell into 3 primary themes: sources of news delivery, providing information, and mitigation strategies. The findings suggest that health care providers have access to a range of communicative resources to buffer the impact of positive screening results that may be mobilized in future interventions. Recommendations for improving the communication process and future research directions are discussed.