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---5 Standard Newborn Procedures You Can Refuse---

Posted by on Aug. 8, 2015 at 4:43 PM
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5 Standard Newborn Procedures You Can Refuse

1. Eye Ointment

We’ve all seen the pictures of newborns with their eyes smeared shut with some clear goupy stuff. Well, that goupy stuff is erythromycin ophthalmic ointment, an antibacterial used to protect babies from an infection which in rare cases can cause blindness. However, this type of infection is only caused by a mother with chlamydia or gonorrhea.

If you have been tested for STDs and know there is no risk that you have either chlamydia or gonorrhea there is no reason your new baby needs to be treated with erythromycin ophthalmic ointment. Also, even if your baby does develop the infection, they are easily treated today with antibiotics which prevent blindness. Read more

2. Vitamin K Shot

Vitamin K is given routinely as a shot to newborns in order to prevent a very rare, but serious, bleeding disorder. New babies are born with lowered levels of Vitamin K which is necessary for normal blood clotting. Some people argue that because basically all babies are born with lowered levels of Vitamin K, there must be a good biological reason for it, and they also believe there may be serious side effects of injecting a new baby with high levels of Vitamin K, and refuse the shot for that reason.

Others believe it is cruel to give a newborn baby a painful shot when they have just been through the trauma of birth. If you’d like to avoid the shot, but still give your baby the blood clotting protection of Vitamin K, you can request an oral dose that is an effective alternative. Read more

Update 1/14: There have been some recent cases of late vitamin K deficient bleeding in newborns whose parents refused the Vitamin K shot. Read more here.

3. Hepatitis B vaccine

Many parents don’t know that when the nurse takes the baby to the nursery for “routine procedures” that one of those procedures is to give them a vaccine for a sexually transmitted, or blood transmitted, disease, Hepatitis B. I don’t want to get into a discussion about whether we should vaccinate our children or not, but I have no idea why the medical establishment says it is okay to give brand newborn babies this vaccine, for a disease they have almost no chance of getting, when they are so young and their immune systems are so vulnerable. You can request that your new baby does not receive this routine vaccination right after birth! Read More

4. First Bath

We go to great lengths to make sure we only put the purest and safest products on our new baby once we bring them home from the hospital, but what about their first bath at the hospital? To begin with, if your hospital normally does the baby’s first bath in the nursery, you can, of course, request that it be done in the room with you. You can also request to help with the bath, instead of just leaving it up to the nurse, and you can bring in your own safe and natural baby shampoo and soap for your baby to be bathed with.

Another option is to skip the first bath all together. Babies are born with a protective covering on their skin, vernix, that has been shown to be very beneficial to the baby, including immune boosting properties similar to those found in breast milk, as well as providing protection and hydration for a new baby’s delicate skin. At the very least, you may want to delay the bath 24 hours to allow the vernix to absorb into the baby’s skin. Read More

5. Time in the nursery

Finally, your baby does not have to spend any time away from you in the nursery if you don’t want them to. I remember after my daughter was born and I had been awake for 24 hours that in my exhaustion I sent her with the nurse to the nursery. Then my husband and I looked at each other with such a strange feeling because we had just sent our baby away and neither of us were with her. They brought her back just over an hour later, not even enough time for me to sleep, with a bow in her hair and I wondered what else had happened to her while she was away from us. That was precious time in her first hours of life that I will never be able to get back.

If there are procedures to which you have consented that need to happen while you’re at the hospital, you can request that they be done in the room with you, while your baby is with you, so that your new baby never has to leave your side in it’s first few hours and days of life. If your baby is getting a shot, or the heel prick to complete the newborn lab test, the nurse can do that while you are nursing your babe to help comfort them and ease the pain.

The hours after your new baby is born are so, so precious and yet can also often be overwhelming. Things can move quickly and sometimes without your understanding of what is happening to your new baby. If you are planning to give birth in a hospital it’s important for you to make sure you understand the hospital’s policies for newborns so that you can make the best informed decision regarding the care of your newborn baby. I’m not saying that you should refuse these procedures, or others that are common practice at your hospital, but I just want to encourage you to do your research and make your own decisions that are right for you and your family. 


by on Aug. 8, 2015 at 4:43 PM
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