Oh..... My..... Goodness..... I can feel myself getting all fired up! But it's about something semi-off-topic brought up by withlittlelungs (the state making "laws" that force unnecessary medical treatment onto children against parental wishes). But first, I will answer the Vitamin K question posed by LightForest and then maybe touch on the eyedrop/state law thing at the end of my post for those that care to know my opinion about that bunch of baloney.
I am a natural lady. I really believe that humans were designed/evolved (however you believe we got to present times) very well! The body, when treated correctly, when living as it is supposed to live, generally does things for a reason. I generally like to err on the side of caution when it comes to putting outside (and unnatural) things into the body...medications (including but not limited to antibiotics), supplements, injections of any kind. In addition, for newborns this means anything orally before a natural interest in food develops. (This is not to say that things sometimes can go wrong. They most certainly can! I am grateful that medical advances are around in the case that something goes wrong, but approach treatment with a serious look at risk vs. benefit.) That being said, I am very weary of any blanket "treatments" for everyone. (Routine IV antibiotics, eyedrops, vit k, vaccines, Vitamin D drops for breastfed infants, etc.) The purpose of the vitamin K shot is to "treat" the "deficiency" of vitamin K that is present in all newborns. Ok... Naturally minded parents will often start with the question, "Can I (the mother) increase my vitamin K consumption to pass on to baby in utero? Or breastfeeding?" The answer presented to them will inevitably be, "No. Very little vitamin K can be passed through the placenta or through breast milk. And a mother's stores of vitamin K naturally decline in the third trimester." Hmmmm.... If ALL newborns are born "deficient" in vitamin K (I prefer the phrasing "born with low stores of vitamin K"... How is it a deficiency if it is NORMAL in ALL newborns?) and a mother's stores of Vitamin K during the third trimester naturally decline, is it possible there is a natural reason for this? That it is a mechanism of design/evolution? I mean the human race made it all the way to the 1960s without the Vitamin K injection... clearly SOMETHING was working.
The first article I linked (see below) explains more of this in detail including some very interesting info about stem cells in breast milk. It is also not lost on me that much of the damage to babies that cause the need for thicker (faster clotting blood) is caused due to hospital practices (induction, coached pushing, epidurals and other pain medications, vacuum/forcepts delivery, AROM, etc) that inflict unnecessary dangers and risks on the newborn. The second article I linked (again, see below) explains that and more about the "need" for vitamin K. It also provides great info on how the infants body starts to create vitamin k! A very interesting read. The type of Vitamin K in the shot is synthetic and not natural. This is problematic to me as well. On top of all of this, I have concerns about additives to the Vitamin K injection and am having a really hard time finding the insert for the injection (made by Merck).
Here is a good essay that deals with the reason for low vitamin K levels in newborns and just about sums up how I feel about it.
An article that deals with the reasons for early vitamin K deficiency bleeding in newborns can be found here.
Needless to say, we will be declining the Vitamin K shot at birth.
And now on to this whole "state law" business. I am really sensitive about this type of topic. And very grateful that I have the right to refuse here in Ohio. But... it's ALWAYS a fight. It just boils my blood that the government believes they have the right to override my parental judgement. I know my kid better than anyone. We are supposed to be living in a free society. With that freedom comes great responsibility. I take the responsibility to raise my family very seriously. I research EVERYTHING and I find it incredibly insulting that the government thinks it necessary to step in and override that research and my convictions. I get so worn down sometimes with how much fighting I have to do about EVERYTHING... home schooling, no vaccines, no eye ointment, no vit k, the right to consume raw milk if I so choose... It is exhausting sometimes. (Off soapbox now... sorry.)
I looked up the law in TX, withlittlelungs. It is not illegal to refuse the antibiotic eye ointment. The law is worded in the way that it makes it a misdemeanor for healthcare worker to not administer it, not for the parent to refuse it. Texas Health & Safety Code.
Ã‚Â§ 81.091. OPHTHALMIA NEONATORUM PREVENTION; CRIMINAL
PENALTY. (a) A physician, nurse, midwife, or other person in
attendance at childbirth shall use or cause to be used prophylaxis
approved by the board to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum.
(b) A midwife is responsible for the administration of the
prophylaxis to each infant the midwife delivers by:
(1) administering the prophylaxis under standing
delegation orders issued by a licensed physician; or
(2) requiring the prophylaxis to be administered by an
appropriately licensed and trained individual under standing
delegation orders issued by a licensed physician.
(c) Subject to the availability of funds, the department
shall furnish prophylaxis approved by the board free of charge to:
(1) health care providers if the newborn's financially
responsible adult is unable to pay; and
(2) a midwife identified under Chapter 203,
Occupations Code, who requests prophylaxis for administration
under standing delegation orders issued by a licensed physician
under Subsection (b) and subject to the provisions of Subchapter A,
Chapter 157, Occupations Code.
(d) If a physician is not available to issue a standing
delegation order or if no physician will agree to issue a standing
delegation order, a midwife shall administer or cause to be
administered by an appropriately trained and licensed individual
prophylaxis approved by the Texas Board of Health to prevent
ophthalmia neonatorum to each infant that the midwife delivers.
(e) Administration and possession by a midwife of
prophylaxis under this section is not a violation of Chapter 483.
(f) A health care provider may not charge for prophylaxis
received free from the department.
(g) A person commits an offense if the person is a physician
or other person in attendance on a pregnant woman either during
pregnancy or at delivery and fails to perform a duty required by
this section. An offense under this section is a Class B
(h) In this section, "financially responsible adult" means
a parent, guardian, spouse, or any other person whom the laws of
this state hold responsible for the debts incurred as a result of
hospitalization or treatment.
Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Ã‚Â§ 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended
by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 158, Ã‚Â§ 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts
2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Ã‚Â§ 14.772, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Now, if it is really really important to you to decline the eye treatment (which is for preventing blindness in the infant in the case that the mother is positive for certain STDs), you have the right to do so. After reading several threads on various forums, it seems like people have mixed results with declining in the state of Texas. Some just have to sign a form to decline with no problems. I have also seen stories of CPS being called (though I have seen nothing about infants being taken away). <--I realize this is all anecdotal. I just wanted to clarify that the law does not prevent you from declining this treatment. Your course of action will have to do with your comfort level, of course. There is also nothing that stops you from wiping off as much ointment as you can after application, though this does not prevent all antibiotic exposure, it'd be a better option than nothing. I also like Melany's advice of delaying eye ointment until as late as possible or at least after nursing is established.