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Opting out of hospital procedures

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

To the Ladies who are having hospital births. What do you plan on opting out of, if anything? Why?


To ladies who are doing home births: what would you opt out of/are glad isn't going to be a part of your birth experience?


I feel so confused. Like I'm confident in my decisions and then my MWs give me a bunch of stuff about how I should do xyz and I'm back to be like "well, maybe I should..."


I was pretty set on not wanting vit. K shot, eye antibiotics. For some reason I didn't want PKU testing but for the life of me I can't remember why I came to that decision =/ I will have to look it up again. Now I'm on the fence about the whole thing because MW gave DH a pamplet about all the scary things that can happen without getting these.


But I really feel like if babies were "supposed" to have Vit. K it would be in their system... or breast milk. There has to be some reason for it. It kind of reminds me of the apendix where they used to say that there is no function for it in the body but now they are finding out that it serves a bunch of functions.


I KNOW I'm not doing HIB. Screw that.


I can't remember what else they do...

post #2 of 22

Homebirther here...

Delay cord clamping. My midwife won't give vit. K shot unless the baby looks like they need it - very bruised from the birth or something. 

Monitoring once per hour with a fetoscope or doppler if the fetoscope proves too difficult to find the heartbeat toward the end. 

I would look for intermittent monitoring for the hospital. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0801/p527.html


I would not get the eye goop if you don't have an clamydia or ghonerrea - (spelling issues sorry.) 

Freedom of movement during labor. 

Ability to eat light foods and drink during labor.

Would prefer to tear than to be cut.

Would prefer to choose pushing position. In a hospital I would say I want to choose my position for pushing as well. 

Delay newborn procedures so you have a little time with baby unless there's an urgent need/emergency.

At home, I don't have to worry about them taking baby somewhere else away from me. I would see if you can have them do the newborn assessment in the room with you or if your DP/DH could remain with the baby the whole time. I would insist. Because they may just "forget" about your preferences when you aren't looking for one.

I would have a birth plan in place for a hospital. Keep it short and sweet with the most important things highlighted and have extra copies to go over with whoever you need to - nurses, midwives, doctors. Make sure that your care providers know your preferences in advance of labor. 


I'll probably do the PKU because I don't see any problem with that. I did it with my UC last time. I just took my daughter to a clinic for it since it was required by law. 


That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Do your research again so it is fresh in your mind and you have a firm foundation as to why you have made those decisions so you can stick to your guns. Make sure DP/DH is on the same page with you. If you have a doula, make sure they also know your preferences because they may remind you of them when you need it.


I stay far away from hospitals because of my bad experiences during 2 deliveries with them not listening to my preferences or bullying me into things. I would of course go if there was an emergency, but otherwise I'm a solid homebirther over here. LOL

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

I would love to do a homebirth but I lost the battle with DH MONTHS ago. At this point the only way I am "getting my way" is if LO decides to come out super quick and there is no time to get the to the hospital lol. We have agreed to do a home birth next time around, assuming there are no complications that made us super grateful to do the hospital route. 


Also. what does UC mean? I'm seeing it a lot in the older threads about testing. 

post #4 of 22

UC is unassisted child birth (also called free birthing, apparently?)

I managed to talk my husband into a home birth. It was surprisingly easy. I prefer a home birth for many of the reasons dayiscoming listed, more freedom of position (I can barely breath on my back, and you want me to push?? are you joking?)


For us, we like to look at the risk of doing it, vs the consequences of not doing it. 
We'll be doing PKU, because it's minimally invasive and the consequences if the test is positive and we DON'T know can be pretty significant. 

antibiotic eye ointment-no, because I know 100% I don't have syphillis or gonorrhea (yay 1 sexual partner!)

I still need to talk to my midwife about the vitamin K and delayed cord clamping. 

post #5 of 22

another homebirther here-- i opt out of everything-- the only thing i test for is the baby's blood type as i am o- and my husband o+. and i will skip the shot if the babe is positive but test my blood later to see if my body is developing antibodies...


no vit k, no goop...no other testing. i have also requested the mw be as hands off as possible. the only thing she does is check heartbeat ever 30 minutes--same mw as last time, and i felt comfortable with it. also, i prefer no suctioning unless absolutely necessary. not as an afterbirth procedure. my lo came out last time in meconium waters and she suctioned and it was the only thing i regretted/questioned after. we've already discussed it and she said she gives babies more time now and can't remember the last time she had to suction--so it sounds like we are on same page! :)

post #6 of 22
Planning a home birth within the next few weeks.
If I had been GBS positive I would have skipped IV antibiotics and used Hibiclens.
No ruptured membranes.
Delayed clamping.
Immediate long skin to skin.
No baby hat to promote smell bonding.
No eye goop.
No bath for babu for days, rub in vernix.
No vit K shot, possible oral regime.
No other vax.
Yes to blood typing using cords blood because this is my first pregnancy and father and I have diff blood. If baby is positive I'll get rhogham.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Looked up PKU again and duh. I wanted to opt out and do it at my family doctor at the check up because it seems to be more effective after a few days. So I'm going back to no hospital PKU, no HIB most likely no Vit. K.


For the eye antibiotics is the only reason they can "go blind" because of STDs?  I didn't have an STD check with the MW but I have had them a few times since DH and I got back together (apparently with Kaiser insurance its standard to get one with pap if under a certain age) and they all came back negative. 

post #8 of 22

Ah yeah, I won't do antibiotics for GBS either if I tested positive. And my midwife is very hands off. She'll only be checking me for dilation I think once when she arrives and then she's really not thinking to check me again at all because she knows I have done this before and know what I'm doing. 

From what I understand the eye goop is just for STDs. So, if you know you don't have one, then you don't need it.

post #9 of 22

After much back and forth contemplation, we are not doing the eye ointment or vaccines. We are in for the Vit.K and the newborn screening. I dont know how the newborn screening is anywhere else but in BC, Canada they screen for 19 different disorders, not just PKU. Turns out I come from a large family in Quebec that is commonly associated with Tyrosinemia I, so Id rather just get the baby screened, although the chances are low. I just got tested for GBS and I really don't want the antibiotic but am confused about what to do about all that.  


I hate to sound naive (this is my first baby) but what are reasons to refuse the baby being bathed at the hospital? 

post #10 of 22
We're delaying bathing a bit just because I don't see a need for it. The amniotic fluid on the baby's hands helps them find your breasts for breastfeeding. It helps mamma bond with baby. And finally, I want to be very gentle soap-wise and don't think a baby is 'dirty' after birth. Maybe a rinse, but the rest just perpetuates the idea that birth is dirty and unnatural, in my opinion.
post #11 of 22
We don't bathe our babies in the hospital either. I like them to smell like me and don't see the need to stress them out so soon after birth either. My baby's haven't had any vertex left by the time they were delivered but if they would have, I would have rubbed it into their skin as its an awesome moisturizer for babies skin.

I delay cord clamping and do immediate skin to skin and breast feeding after birth.

I don't have a problem with PKU testing, it's super quick and important information to me.

If I had a home birth, I wouldn't bother with the eye ointment but delivering in a hospital I absolutely get it as it protects against other infections that might be lurking in the hospital, its not just for STDs.
post #12 of 22
Is the reason for avoiding vitamin k just because it's an injection? Just curious, since I've seen a few people now say they'd be ok with oral administration.
post #13 of 22

if you're uncertain which procedures are standard at the hospital where you plan to deliver, you can ask ahead of time.  my midwife gave me a copy of our hospital's informed consent form, which lists all their routine newborn tests and medications and a brief explanation of why each is important.  we signed the form ahead of time and gave it to our midwife (who will provide it to the hospital along with our registration information), noting which procedures we were declining.  we also wrote a birth plan (at the request of our midwife), which reiterates these choices and a few other newborn care things that are important to us.  we got some good ideas about how to write one by looking at samples of other people's natural, hospital birth plans online.


as for personal preference, I want my baby to receive all the genetic testing that our state (Maryland) routinely does, though you're right - there are some tests that are more accurate if performed at least 24 hours after breastfeeding is established (since they measure metabolic levels).  I think in most cases of hospital birth around here, a blood sample for this panel of tests (which includes, but isn't limited to, the PKU) is drawn as close to 24 hours after birth as possible, and then again at the baby's first pediatric appointment as a precautionary follow-up.  since the only downside I see is baby's temporary discomfort, I felt like it was worth the peace of mind for me.  and again, I learned about the nature of the testing from the hospital where I plan to deliver - the information was included in the promotional material they give out about their obstetric center. 


good luck making the decisions!  it's a lot to consider, but at least if you're familiar with your hospital's practices beforehand, you'll be able to speak with credibility about them after your baby is born.  take care!

post #14 of 22

I'd like to know more about people's reasons for refusing vitamin K, too. I can't find any negatives to it other than that it's an injection. It seems like vitamin K deficiency problems are super rare, but there doesn't seem to be much of a reason *not* to just go ahead and do it? 


Good point about the eye ointment protecting against other infections in the hospital, CountryMommy. I'll weight that in mind in case we end up having to transfer.

post #15 of 22

There are some rare risks with the eye ointment too. Like blindness. 


The vitamin K shot has other ingredients in that I don't love. I don't remember what they all are, but just saying. And I don't believe God made a mistake in producing babies the way he has, so for me vitamin K seems really unnecessary, but of course if my midwife recommends it due to lots of bruising and stuff, I'll err on the side of caution and let her give the baby it. My midwife doesn't recommend it's routine use, but will give it if the parents really insist on it as well.

post #16 of 22

I forgot to give my list. We're having a homebirth.


I'm Rh negative and will be getting Rhogam if baby is not also negative.

We will do genetic screening.


No eye goop.

Delayed cord clamping.

I am thinking I don't want internal exams at all during labor unless there is a convincing reason for them.

No bathing.

No automatic suctioning.


The two things I was/am on the fence about are vit K and GBS antibiotics, but thankfully I tested negative and get to skip that decision this time. 

post #17 of 22
We'll consent to the routine things like newborn screening, bit K, eye ointment, etc. one thing that's important to me is the delayed cord clamping along with immediate skin to skin contact. We'll have a hospital birth and I feel very comfortable with this particular place as it is one of few truly baby friendly hospitals in the province. I'll also get rhogham if baby is Rh + and won't fight suctioning if offered.

Grrr. Premature post. Editing to add: my firstborn was born after 14 hours of labour, 2 hours of pushing and still had so much mucus/fluid that she stopped breathing twice during the first 24 hours. It was terrifying; she went all blue and limp and couldn't breathe at all. A minute later, in the hands of an experienced nurse, she was suctioned and was perking up and pink. I'm not saying all babies need to be suctioned, but mine did, at least twice and then spent a few hours in an incubator to help dry up the remaining fluid. I'm hoping we won't have the same issue this time but DD was a strong, healthy, near 8 lb baby with good head control at birth and it still proved to be necessary. I'm so grateful to those nurses; I honestly think they saved her life twice. <3
post #18 of 22

Cynthiamoon, I've read that the amount of Vit K in the injection is almost 1000% of the RDA amount for a baby. I'm worried about the strain it will put on my baby's liver. (Which, by the way, will also be working hard to rid the body of the extra red blood cells the baby doesn't need.) 


Also, I' ve read that the injection is a different type of Vit K, from a different natural source or something, than what the body normally gets, so it's not used in the same manner anyway.

post #19 of 22

According to the CDC, the eyrthromycin (eye goop) protects against other non-STD infections as well:  http://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/newborns.html. This was the best Vitamin K pros/cons discussion I could find, I've had a lot of trouble finding resources that are really evidence-based on many of these issues: http://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/vitamin-k

That said, the CO children's hospital had a lot of good information on random other stuff I've been wondering about! http://www.childrenscolorado.org/wellness/info/parents/browse.aspx?CatId=20728

post #20 of 22

Thanks for the links! We've put off researching some of the smaller things in light of the bigger interventions we've been told I'm at risk for, so now I am finally getting around to the less critical stuff. 

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