Someone on another mom forum I belong to and who is due right around the same time as me (July 24) was asking about these things. I've googled them both and as usual, you see both sides-the side from the stand point of a medical professional who obviously is going to say both are necessary and the flip side saying not so much.

From what I've read it seems that a Vitamin K supplement taken by the mother (if you're nursing which I plan on) is MUCH safer than an injection. And as far as the eye goop, it seems that it is to protect the baby against eye infections caused by STDs? Is it necessary if you're certain you and your partner are both clean? Heck, my OB's office tests for a TON of STDs during pregnancy so I'd know by know if I had something! LOL

Between researching this stuff and the potential complications of GD, my brain feels like it's going to explode!!!!

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I am taking 200 mcg of vit. k daily. I feel it is safer. The vit. k shot has been linked to Jaundice and even potentially white blood cell malformations and luekemia (those aren't proven, but it makes sense). I prefer to do the supplement. My daughter, Becka, was born and was jaundiced for a long time. She had both Vit. K shot, and the chord was cut immediately... so I am unsure which one caused it since both can. Taegen, who is 3 days old, has no jaundice at all. She had neither done :)

As for the silver nitrate. That's a no for me. While it *could* protect against potential infections besides those of the 3 STD's, it can also cause serious complications: a chance I wasn't willing to take.

But, Taegen was born at home so I didn't have to worry about any interventions lol.
Shanna said:
I am taking 200 mcg of vit. k daily. I feel it is safer. The vit. k shot has been linked to Jaundice and even potentially white blood cell malformations and luekemia (those aren't proven, but it makes sense). I prefer to do the supplement. My daughter, Becka, was born and was jaundiced for a long time. She had both Vit. K shot, and the chord was cut immediately... so I am unsure which one caused it since both can. Taegen, who is 3 days old, has no jaundice at all. She had neither done :)

As for the silver nitrate. That's a no for me. While it *could* protect against potential infections besides those of the 3 STD's, it can also cause serious complications: a chance I wasn't willing to take.

But, Taegen was born at home so I didn't have to worry about any interventions lol.


One of the moms on this other mom forum I mentioned has a dd named Teagan. :) Thanks for the tips and congrats on the birth of your baby girl.
Vitamin K shot is not necessary unless:
There was instrumental delivery (this can increase internal bleeding and vitamin k helps blood clot)
Baby suffered bruising from birth
Baby will be circumcised before the 8th day of life.

If none of those things happen/are happening vitamin K is pointless. However, to ease a worried mother's mind, she may administer vit k orally to the baby or herself. There are also ways to up your vitamin k intake prior to and after delivery, I believe Alfalfa is good for this (not sure, so don't quote that!)

My son received neither and oral or injected dose of vitamin K, we did not circumcise him and he did not have a traumatic delivery.

As far as the eye ointment is was originally used to treat babies born to mothers suffering from certain STDs. Since it's become common practice not to trust women, it started to become standard, even though we routinely test for disease IN pregnancy. On top of that, it carries a set of risks all it's own and has many negative side effects, like burning the eyes and blurring vision. Know a baby who had severe clogged tear ducts? Did they have eryth. gel? Well, that's probably why. Basically, if you know you and your partner are clean, there is no reason. The one thing I'll never understand is why they've taken this routine procedure to even the OR so that babies not even born vaginally are being given this crap.
My Great great aunt Evelyn Carpenter was a nurse, and one of the people who was responsible for making the application of oitment to newborns' eyes standard practice in America. It was not because they did not trust women, it was because they didn't trust men. It was not uncommon for women during that time to contract STDs from their husbands and not know anything about it, or to not seek medical care for STDs because of the stigma attached to it or to save face for their families.
"The one thing I'll never understand is why they've taken this routine procedure to even the OR so that babies not even born vaginally are being given this crap."


Sooo true!!!!! My c-sec baby got the eye goop and had a clogged tear duct for 6 months! Probably would have gone on longer if I hadn't massaged it with breast milk regularly. Why on EARTH did she need erythromycin???? She did not even come out of my vagina!!

During my HBAC pregnancy, I discussed the use of prophylactic antibiotics for babies eyes with my father who is an eye doctor. He is pretty conservative when it comes to these things, but even he agreed that it was pretty unnecessary for the majority of women. Especially with no prior risk!!! It's fairly easy to quickly treat if the need arises. Needless to say, my HBAC baby was "eye goop-less". :)
This got me thinking and I started searching, here are some things I found...

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/archive/index.php/t-1677.html
From Birth Junkie
12-12-2001, 10:01 PM
Here's the research I've compiled on newborn interventions that I give to my birth class students and doula clients...

BODY MEASUREMENTS

Infant’s weight, length, and head circumference are measured. You can request to postpone this until after breastfeeding has been established immediately following birth. Taken also is the body temperature. A reading that’s over 100 or under 97 degrees could indicate and infection, but often the body temperature takes several hours to stabilize following delivery. These are also standard in a birth center or home birth.



Vitamin K—Injection or Oral

Vitamin K is a substance the body produces naturally for blood clotting and protects against hemorrhagic disease, which is extremely rare, but serious. Baby’s don’t produce vitamin K for a few days, but colostrum and breastmilk, although deficient in Vitamin K, contain factors which help the baby’s gut produce it’s own vitamin K. Be aware that the injection has been associated with rare childhood cancers, such as leukemia, in British studies due to the carcinogens Phenol contained in the shot . Signs of Hemorrhagic disease are bleeding out the orifices (nose, mouth, ears, bottom, etc. When bleeding is noticed get a Vitamin K shot within 24 hours to remedy the disease.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B is a disease that is primarily passed by sexual contact or needle sharing, but can also be contracted by exchange of bodily fluids (i.e. saliva and blood). It can lead to chronic illness and liver damage. The immunization consists of an injection into the thigh and does not impart lifelong immunity. Giving this to newborns is extremely controversial because newborns do not have sex or are not drug users, the highest risk category. Side effects include soreness, fever, allergic reactions, digestive disorders, contracting Hepatitis B, and even death. Discontinued in 1999 due to high incidence of bowel obstructive disorder in newborns, the shot may still be given at your birthplace. If you don’t know anyone with Hep. B and are breastfeeding, you may wish to forgo the shot.

PKU and Blood Tests

These procedures consist of testing for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone), a rare but serious metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU), the inability to metabolize a milk carbohydrate called galactosemia. This screening requires multiple heel pricks on the heel

Eye ointment

Antibiotics given solely to protect against eye infection caused by exposure to gonorrhea or chlamydia in the birth canal. Drops are not given for any other reason. A mother may have been infected with the STD years ago, yet never develop symptoms—merely be a carrier. If you know you are clear of these STD’s, antibiotics are unnecessary.

Reflexes and Complete Physical

A doctor will test to see if all the reflexes are intact and check for overall health. This is required before discharge from the hospital, although you can sign out AMA if you wish to leave beforehand.

Can I refuse?

Of course! You have the right to refuse anything, although the hospital staff might give you a hard time about it and try to scare or threaten you into compliance. You also have the right to postpone the procedures for a healthy baby after you’ve had what you feel is sufficient bonding time. You can also request they be done in your room while holding the baby. Be sure to spell out your wishes in a birth plan and speak up.

APGAR: A=Activity P=Pulse G=Grimace (reflex irritability) A=Appearance (Skin Color) R=Respiration Done at 1 & 5 min. 7-10 pts is good

Sources: Bell TA, Grayston JT, Krohn MA, Kronmal RA, Eye Prophylaxis Study Group: Randomized trial of silver nitrate, erythromycin, and no eye prophylaxis for the prevention of conjunctivitis among newborns not at risk for gonococcal ophthalmitis. Pediatrics 92: 755-760, 1993; Is Vit. K linked to Childhood Caners? Golding et al., 1990, British Journal of Medicine, Aug. 8, 1992; Hep B: Joint Statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the United States Public Health Service (PHS) [July 7, 1999]; Newborn Screening for Congenital Hypothyroidism: Recommended Guidelines (RE9316) Pediatrics Volume 91, Number 6 June, 1993, p 1203-1209


and from http://www.naturalnews.com/026533_antibiotic_silver_infants.html


Newborn Procedures: Eye Ointment May Not Be Necessary
Thursday, July 02, 2009 by: Jen Patterson, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) A myriad of procedures is done to newborn babies usually immediately after birth. These include a shot of vitamin K, a hepatitis vaccine, a test for PKU, administration of eye ointment and others.

The eye ointment is administered to prevent conjunctivitis resulting from a gonorrheal or Chlamydial infection in the mother. This type of conjunctivitis can lead to blindness. Some women are asymptomatic for gonorrhea and since false positives are possible, prenatal screening of the mother is thought insufficient as a diagnostic tool.

The ointments used are usually silver nitrate or an antibiotic such as erythromycin or povidone-iodine. Silver nitrate reduces the incidence of conjunctivitis in newborns, but it can cause irritation. Ironically, this irritation itself sometimes leads to conjunctivitis in the infant!

In 1992 a study of 4,544 babies, born between 1989 and 1991 received one of five treatments so that the efficacy of the ointments could be tested. Three groups were given antibiotic eye drops: either erythromycin, two doses of erythromycin or tetracycline. A fourth group received silver nitrate drops and a fifth serving as a control group received no drops. Surprisingly, no significant differences were found in the incidence of newborn conjunctivitis among these groups. The drops of antibiotic and silver nitrate made no difference whatsoever. A small 2007 study of 138 infants confirmed these results: no significant difference was found in infection rate for babies receiving saline drops, erythromycin drops or no drops.

A 1995 study including 3117 infants tested an additional antibiotic called povidone-iodine or betadine. This antibiotic did reduce the incidence of newborn conjunctivitis relative to erythromycin or silver nitrate. However, this study did not include a control group against which to measure the effects of these treatments! Nevertheless, povidone-iodine does appear to have an effect. A fourth study, performed in 2007 examined the effects of povidone-iodine, erythromycin and no treatment on a total of 330 infants. Those receiving povidone-iodine had fewer eye infections than those receiving erythromycin or neither.

Additionally, the infection is rather ugly and impossible to be missed by barely competent parents; there is still plenty of time for treatment when the eye infection starts to look so obvious and antibiotics clear it up.

The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in newborns has the potential to increase the rates of diaper rash, thrush, digestive problems and antibiotic resistance in some. Anecdotally, some mothers claim that their babies who received eye ointment didn't gaze at them or their surroundings as soon as their babies who did not receive eye ointment did.

Results of studies like those described above are not always available to the public. Parents are generally not counseled on the efficacy or indications for newborn procedures; instead, hospital staff routinely undertakes their administration unless explicitly asked otherwise. In some cases parents have no choice or are led to believe they have no choice.

Sources:
Matinzadeh etal. 2007. Efficacy of topical ophthalmic prophylaxis in prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum. Tropical Doctor 37: 47-9.

Ali, Z. etal. 2007. Prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum comparison of betadine, erythromycin and no prophylaxis. J Trop Pediatr. 2007 Dec;53(6):388-92. Epub 2007 Nov 30.

Isenberg, S.J. etal. 1995. A controlled trial of povidone-iodine as prophylaxis against ophthalmia neonatorum. The New England Journal of Medicine 332: 562-566.

Chen JY. 1992. Prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum: comparison of silver
nitrate, tetracycline, erythromycin and no prophylaxis. Pediatr Infect Dis J 11:1026-30.

http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives...
Those are silly "standards of care". As long as baby doesn't have any serious bruising, and you feel that its unnessecary, I'd say don't get the vitamin K shot. It has been linked to childhood leukemia, I believe. Also- the eye goop- you said it right there. You'd know if you had STDS. Good for you for questioning what conventional medicine says is the norm. Have you considered other normal newborn things like the Hep B shot.... Look into that one too. You may feel that that is unneccesary too. (FYI it is a vaccine for an STD... for newborns? )

Alfalfa is also a good natural source of vitamen K

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