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Antibiotic Eye Ointment

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I asked my midwife about her stance on the Vit. K shot at my appointment Fri b/c that was one of the only things we are kinda on the fence about. She said that unless there was any obvious trauma, it wasn't necessary (which I was surprised she was so lax about, since it's still a hospital birth...).

She did go on to say that the eye ointment (which was totally planned on NOT doing at all) was something do consider because although I don't have any STD's, babies can still get infections from normal bacteria hanging around. I don't think this is very likely, however she also told me that IF he were to get an eye infection it is a Class C misdemeanor in our state if I declined the ointment and he became infected.

I was shocked at the way she said it... kind of like "you should do it, or you will get in trouble". Has anyone heard of this? Is this just something I didn't know and is it like this for everything we'll decline, so it's really no big deal.
Any thoughts?
post #2 of 11
If you don't have an STD (ie. Chlamydia)-- eye infections are very uncommon due to bacteria in mom's vagina. If baby develops any infection-- it will be easily treatable. Why not just treat it if it needs treating and leave it alone otherwise.
post #3 of 11
I would still decline it. I'm not sure about TN, but I know some states, like NY, do have mandates requiring your baby to have the ointment. It is considered a risk to public safety and that apparently overrides the right of the parent to make an informed choice regarding their child's care : That aside, who is possibly going to prosecute you if your baby does develop an infection, especially if it isn't caught until after you leave the hospital? If at all possible, I would try and have your baby room in with you while you are there and limit the amount of time strange hospital workers are handling your baby. Your child is much more likely to pick something up just from being in the hospital than you giving your baby an infection during birth.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyKnitter View Post
she also told me that IF he were to get an eye infection it is a Class C misdemeanor in our state if I declined the ointment and he became infected.
Bullsh!t. The eye ointment is to protect the babies of mothers with a particular STD. That's it. If you know you're STD-free, your kid is safe. And they couldn't prosecute you if your child did get infected, anyway.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyKnitter View Post
I asked my midwife about her stance on the Vit. K shot at my appointment Fri b/c that was one of the only things we are kinda on the fence about. She said that unless there was any obvious trauma, it wasn't necessary.
Unless your baby is born with or develops a clotting disorder, in which case the vitamin K can save his or her life. Yes, they are more at risk if they are born with visible signs of bruising but they can still have problems even if the birth is a breeze. You should be free to decline it, but it should be an informed decision and you are not being adequately informed.

Quote:
She did go on to say that the eye ointment (which was totally planned on NOT doing at all) was something do consider because although I don't have any STD's, babies can still get infections from normal bacteria hanging around.
That's true; anyone can get pink eye at any time, but we don't go around putting prophylactic antibiotics in our eyes weekly to prevent it. The most common and serious neonatal eye infections are from chlamydia and gonorrhea, which is the reason we give antibiotics ointment to babies.

Quote:
she also told me that IF he were to get an eye infection it is a Class C misdemeanor in our state if I declined the ointment and he became infected.
It's a Class C misdemeanor if you decline it, whether or not he becomes infected is irrelevant. Class C is the same category as jay walking.

Quote:
I was shocked at the way she said it... kind of like "you should do it, or you will get in trouble".
Why? Is she going to report you?
post #6 of 11
my thinking on the abx ointment was that, yes, I don't have any STD's, and I know DH doesn't. However, I was in the hospital and having other people's hands all up in there. I also used the hospital's tub for a while. To me, it was a preventative thing, not a big deal. They waited a while (hour? more? until I had had some time to hold him, bf him, and everyone else did too) before asking if I wanted it.

Just another thing to think about.
post #7 of 11
ALL of my babies got the ointment and ALL of my babies got eye infections. It happens. In our case, it's b/c their tear ducts weren't draining properly. So even if your baby got an eye infection, and you declined the ointment, there's no proof that the problem isn't a tear duct not properly draining.

(Fortunately my first two outgrew it, but by third hasn't and she get to have the procedure in a couple of weeks to clear it. She's well beyond the age it should have cleared on its own. )
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for confirming pretty much what I was thinking.

I was way moreon the fence about Vitamin K than eye oinment and I think I amstill in the same spot. Feeling no to the ointment (LO will not leave our hospital room unless something is wrong and I can't birth in a tub there) but still going to research Vit. K more.
post #9 of 11
I asked my kids pediatrician about both vitamin K and eye ointment and got the opposite response. Basically I would be crazy for not doing vit K as it prevents brain bleeds but if I wanted to skip something then she was fine with passing on eye ointment (although she didn't think that was a big deal either.) Still not sure what I'm going to do...
post #10 of 11
I had planned on skipping the eye goop but I labored too fast to get my birthplan out to the nurses and delivered before my midwife could get there (she knew my wishes) so my LO got everything except Hep B, luckily they need a signature for that!
post #11 of 11
I forgot to mention that my baby did have the eye ointment, because even though it's not necessary I don't think it's harmful and not nearly worth the hassle of declining it.
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