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Newborn Eye Drops~Necessary?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Even though this is my 2nd baby, I'm really questioning some things that were done w/my ds. Like the "routine" baby stuff.

What do you think about the Eye drops in particular? I'm really thinking about not doing it. What do you think about it?


post #2 of 19
Hi Lisa Marie-
we will be having our 1st baby this Spring & I believe we will be waivering the eye drops. My midwife offers them, but from what I've read they are to protect the baby from going blind from contracting a STD from the mother during birth. Is it Ghonarrhea (sp?) or Syphillus? Something like that. I think it is legally mandated in most states bcz even if the mother has tested negative, the father could reintroduce it & the mother not know, etc. We have both tested negative for all that type of thing & DH is not going to be bringing any strange stuff home, kwim? So, I think Iwould rather have the baby be able to look about as he or she will then be all smeared up with some eye goop.
If any of this info is wrong anybody, pls straighten me out. blessings, Maria
post #3 of 19
You should first understand the *purpose* of the eyedrops: to prevent blindness in children born to mothers who have STDs, i.e. gonnoreah/syphilis (sp?) Bottom line: if you and your partner are clean, there is absolutely *NO* reason to have these drops,NONE. The reason the drops became mandated is cheating husbands were giving wives the clap while pregnant and the babies were blinded. I, personally, was horribly offended that the state would assume that my DH and I had that kind of relationship. I had to sign a waiver in order to skip this process. Years ago, they used silver nitrate, which itself blinded numerous children... now it's more of a *neosporin* kinda gunk that only temporarily blinds the baby, as in makes the vision blurry, unable to see mommy's face clearly. Who knows? 25 years from now, they'll come up with something else to use because *this* treatment has long-range effects... If you do choose to do the eyedrops anyway, postpone them as long as you can, so your new baby girl can see you, first thing!

post #4 of 19
I waived the eye drops with my dd and will do it again. the nurses and hospital staff dont take it lightly and will probably lecture you with scare tactics and look at you like you are crazy but stick to your guns. i listened to them and asked for a AMA (against medical advice) waiver. I think there are some things that arnt worth fighting for but this is one of them. my husband and i have never had another sexual partner but eachother and i trust him so end of story no way no how are they getting the eye gunk. but have it in a birth plan, tell your husband, midwife and every nurse you see because i have heard them doing things out of procedure and not asking permission first. i also have been told that its now their precedure to wait 2 hours before giving it to the infant so that you can breastfeed and bond(before they are blinded!)
post #5 of 19

No eyedrops for either of my two (our baby girl was born 3 weeks ago today!). The first, I had to sign a waiver, as he was born in the hospital. I didn't get any hassles, just told the L&D nurse to bring me all the waivers (no Vit K either). Second time...Esme was born at a birth center....no waivers necessary. Very mellow birth....much better. But I agree with everyone else. There is no good reason a baby would need the eye goop if born to two loving, committed parents. Nada!

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
You know, that's what I thought/figured! But, at a birth I attended last January (in a hospital), she did not want the drops/gunk, but they told her that it was State/Hospital policy and it was mandated!: I knew that it wasn't, but the mom really didn't want to argue w/them. I HATE that when they tell new parents lies like that!

We are going to skip it! Thanks for your help/advice!


post #7 of 19
Thought I'd tack this question on here, Why do they do the vit K? Isn't it for clotting factor or something like that? I want to say no to EVERYTHING!!! But I just want to know why I'm saying no I'm stuck going to a hospital, but I'm also a pretty informed consumer(this time), and nonone does nothing without my O.K. Thanks for any info.
post #8 of 19
Yeah... VitK is for clotting. The baby will have normal levels of it on his/her own by about the eight day. (Hey... 8th day... nevermind.) I suppose it would be important if you were having a babe circed at the hospital or if there was a strong likelyhood that some kind of medical issue might arise, but I don't dig it as a blanket thing for every babe. My midwife mentioned that she will sometimes recommend it if the baby had a tough birth and may have been bruised, which makes sense.
post #9 of 19
Cool. Works for me. That is interesting about the 8th day thing. Luckily, we don't circ. But good to know for Jewish moms, eh?
post #10 of 19
Just talked to my MW about this stuff on Saturday. She said that Vit K can be administered later if needed, it is not a now or never. She also agreed that if it was a difficult birth with bruising, they may reccommend it right away, but only if necessary.
post #11 of 19
I hope I don't bruise up my baby.
post #12 of 19
Vitamin K is mandated in my state, they make yet another assumption: Mothers are not going to breastfeed!! Vitamin K is in your milk/colostrum so the baby gets a supply even before making their own. A waiver is available for this, too

~diana ild
post #13 of 19
in my birth plan i had NO next to the eye gunk, vit K, and hep B. but they gave me such a hassle i gave them one....vit K. they scared me about internal hemorging. eventhough i knew that it was unnessesary but i was tired of fighting them. this time i will tell them to just get me the paperwork and back off!!
post #14 of 19
post #15 of 19
Not in you're in a monogomous relationship and you're both clean!

Like my midwife said, they're assuming that everyone has or could have gonorrhea.

I'm having a homebirth and am not planning on doing either the vit k shot or the eye goop.

Yes, and I believe God knew what he was doing when he told the Jews to circ on day eight. Certainly not a coincidence. inky
post #16 of 19

another thought

This never occured to me until I heard a former RN, who is currently a home-birth attending midwife, describe the eye infections she has seen in newborns who did not have the eye gunk.

This midwife says that because of the bacteria in the hospital, and the number of people who will touch your newborn, she DOES reccomend the routine antibiotic eye goo, to prevent infection introduced by caregivers/hospital environment.

If I have a baby in a hospital, I might choose the eye goo....esp. if I weren't going to birth my baby and leave a few hours later, because everybody, that picture-takin' lady, the nurses, the peds, they're all dirty and those baby eyes are sensitive!
post #17 of 19
I can totally see that reasoning for the eye goo, but breastmilk is a great treatment for eye infections and it doesn't cause the blurry vision or the infection backlash that can sometimes come with antibiotics, not to mention it is incredibly soothing on an infected eye (yes, I know, I've expressed to treat myself!)

post #18 of 19
Hey, Tinyshoes, good point. I'm stuck with a hospital birth, but I think I'll just include a "hands off" rule on my baby. With as many restrictions as I plan on putting on the staff, I think I'd better bring a bullwhip with me in addition to my doula, and friend.
post #19 of 19
This may be redundant, but I decline the eye drops because there is absolutely no possibility that I or my husband have gonoreha. However, i can understand that medical professionals cannot just take everyone's word on that because hardly anyone would pipe up and say, yes, i have gonnoreha! or, oh honey, i have been having an affair on the side so there is a possibility I could have given you gonorreha, we better get those newborn eye drops! or whatnot. So that is why it is not optional after the birth.

That said, there is obviously a waiver you can sign to decline the eye drops, which I do.

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