Eye ointment -- a hill to die on, or go along to get along? UPDATE - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post


 


This is often touted by hospital staff (often to persuade acceptance) but it is not true.  It IS only for chlamydia and gonorrhea.


Yeah, I wouldn't doubt it!  Which is why I was firmly "no" with the ointment.  But, then I heard about a midwife who says the only way she WOULD give her own baby the ointment would be if they were forced to transfer and the baby was born in the germy hospital.  Otherwise, she'd of course never consider it for a baby born at home.  She wasn't hospital staff and I assumed she knew more than I do about newborns.  And of course, whether you transfer or not doesn't magically change your STD status.  This made me wonder...because in my experience, the hospitals really are pretty germy.  However, By-the-lake makes a good point about rooming in to keep baby away from a good amount of germs.
 

 

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#32 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I didn't expect to get so many responses -- thanks all!  It is great to hear others' views on the issue.  I am still on the fence.  On the one hand it's not as though giving the ointment is equivalent to circumcision or feeding a bottle of formula or something like that that has permanent consequences.  But on the other hand, I don't like my right to decline being questioned, and I can see it becoming a slippery slope. 

 

We are going to go ahead and get the Vitamin K and agree to the baby's blood sugar being tested after birth (bc I have GD), neither of which I am super thrilled about, but we are declining the bath, Hep B shot, and possibly the metabolic screen depending on whether my ped will insist on doing it a second time a few days later.  That combined with all the birth stuff I'm declining will give me plenty of practice in saying "no thank you" and signing waivers.  I was just thinking it might be better to save my assertive energy for the more important stuff and let a few smaller things go.  I'm going to mention it to my OB tomorrow and see whether declining is truly as rare as that nurse said ... my OB didn't bat an eye at anything on my birth plan, including declining all 3rd stage active-management stuff, and said they see women who have the same preferences I expressed "all the time" and are used to accommodating them.  I can't imagine that, it now being 2011, none of those women has ever declined the eye ointment. 

 

So we'll see.  If I felt strongly about it, I would definitely insist on declining.  Strangely(?), I feel more strongly about declining the bath than the eye ointment ... though if we decide to go along, I will absolutely insist on delaying it until at least an hour after the birth.  And wipe off the area around the eyes as soon as they leave us alone. :) 


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#33 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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you may end up wanting the bath. DD was covered in blood and mec. we did wait until she was a couple hours old, but there was no way she wasn't getting everything washed off her. 


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#34 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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you may end up wanting the bath. DD was covered in blood and mec. we did wait until she was a couple hours old, but there was no way she wasn't getting everything washed off her. 


Well, if there were a lot of blood and meconium, I might reconsider.  That has not happened with my other two.  My inclination to decline the bath is to minimize separation (since they only do baths in the nursery, of course DH would go with him but then I would be alone) and to help the baby maintain his body temperature.  It just seems crazy to do something to him that will make him cold when they already have such a hard time maintaining a good temp for the first 24-48 hours.  Plus I wouldn't be able to be there for his first bath, and that just bugs the crap out  of me.  I'm a control freak that way.

 


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#35 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by msmiranda View Post




Well, if there were a lot of blood and meconium, I might reconsider.  That has not happened with my other two.  My inclination to decline the bath is to minimize separation (since they only do baths in the nursery, of course DH would go with him but then I would be alone) and to help the baby maintain his body temperature.  It just seems crazy to do something to him that will make him cold when they already have such a hard time maintaining a good temp for the first 24-48 hours.  Plus I wouldn't be able to be there for his first bath, and that just bugs the crap out  of me.  I'm a control freak that way.

 

Good for you. Establishing good bonding and breastfeeding takes precedence over the first bath. Studies show improved breastfeeding because of the odor of amniotic fluid. In the event of blood or meconium, a baby can be wiped down pretty well without a full blown bath. I did not have my last DS bathed until we got home, and will do the same this time  around.
 

 


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#36 of 45 Old 03-23-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by by-the-lake View Post


 

Good for you. Establishing good bonding and breastfeeding takes precedence over the first bath. Studies show improved breastfeeding because of the odor of amniotic fluid. In the event of blood or meconium, a baby can be wiped down pretty well without a full blown bath. I did not have my last DS bathed until we got home, and will do the same this time  around.
 

 


yeah, I thought we weren't going to do a bath, and there were able to get a lot of the blood and mec off her with a rub-down, but in the pictures of when she was just born you can still see mec all over her face. If I have a cleaner baby this time around, he won't be bathed in the first couple of days. (and no matter what a bath will wait until after the first feeding and some bonding time)

 

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#37 of 45 Old 03-25-2011, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So when I asked my OB yesterday, she was like, "people decline the eye ointment all the time, it's not a big deal."  And when I told her some of the other stuff the tour guide had said, she was like, I wonder if I can find out who that was.  I said I didn't want to get her in trouble, but my OB said, "but she's giving out wrong information!" 

 

I think what happened is that this nurse used to work on the L&D unit some years ago (maybe 5?  maybe even more?) and back then, maybe no one ever did decline the eye ointment, so that was genuinely her experience.  In the past several years I think there's been a real explosion in awareness of choices in maternity care and more women wanting to exercise more control over their care and the care of their babies.  Since this hospital is known in the area as being NCB friendly, it stands to reason that some of those mamas (and maybe some non-NCB mamas too) have declined eye ointment.  Which is why what she said didn't ring true to me, and I was right.  She was speaking from her experience, but her experience was outdated. 

 

I told my OB that they probably  just don't expect someone to come in for the tour asking questions as detailed as the ones I had.  Which is kinda annoying because now I'm questioning all the other info I got that night ...


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#38 of 45 Old 03-25-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by motherhendoula View Post

My first was born in a Free Standing Birth Ctr and i was a little off put by the Vitamin K and the goop - it was all so new to me.  I ws told that i could NOT decline - however, my midwife put the goop on my daughters eyebrows!  I guess that was a 'win win' situation!



What an awesome way to get around NY's draconian law.  Your MW rocks!  love.gif

 

OP, I'm really glad it worked out for you!


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#39 of 45 Old 03-26-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post


 


This is often touted by hospital staff (often to persuade acceptance) but it is not true.  It IS only for chlamydia and gonorrhea.


This. 100%.
 

 


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#40 of 45 Old 03-27-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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When I told my MW I was declining the ointment because I don't have chlamydia or gonorrhea she tried telling me the antibiotic isn't just for that. It helps protect again E. coli infections as well. I just shrugged my shoulders and said I still don't want it, but I was really confused because I have never heard of the ointment/drops protecting against anything but the two STDs. She did have a very glazed over look in her eyes and wouldn't make eye contact with me when she told me this. I don't know if she was telling me something that she was forced to say vs something she actually believed. I decided not to argue and ask for references on this one because she assured me that it's a personal choice to decline and it won't be a problem at the hospital.
 


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#41 of 45 Old 03-29-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jayray View Post

If I were you I would try to politely decline it.  You really shouldn't have a problem doing so.  But it also isn't something that I feel so strongly about that I would make it my main concern.  You can always wipe it out of the babe's eyes. 

 

You will also need to be very vigilant about it, especially if they take the babe to the nursery for anything.  I watched, helplessly, as the nurse in the nursery gave my sister's babe the ointment (even though I knew she didn't want it and she had told her midwife).  She had had an unexpected c/s and the babe was taken to the nursery while she was in recovery.

 

 

I was able to decline it easily after a c-section - no going through the vaginal canal - no chance of contracting anything.  It is annoying.  I would probably not choose this as one of my battles (but they were amenable to it at the hospital I was at).  It is way better than the stuff they used to use, which really was painful for babies.
 

 

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#42 of 45 Old 03-30-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I was able to decline it easily after a c-section - no going through the vaginal canal - no chance of contracting anything.  It is annoying.  I would probably not choose this as one of my battles (but they were amenable to it at the hospital I was at).  It is way better than the stuff they used to use, which really was painful for babies.
 

 


Grr. This kills me! I had a c/s with DD and they still gave her the eye ointment. I didn't specifically say not to (we didn't have a birth plan then) but I guess in my mind if she wasn't going through the birth canal, they wouldn't give her the ointment. I was so pissed when I found the used tube in her "stuff" they gave us to take home. It makes no sense to treat for something when there obviously isn't a risk for contracting anything, especially in this situation.

 


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#43 of 45 Old 03-30-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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 It makes no sense to treat for something when there obviously isn't a risk for contracting anything, especially in this situation.

 



This is why I am still wondering if the medical community really believes it is for more than just preventing an infection from STD's.  I know some of you are saying that isn't so and I'll admit, I only have the experience of having birthed one baby in one hospital so I'm obviously no expert.  But, I would love to ask a doctor whom I trust (ha!) in a situation where we were off the record and have them tell me what the real story is on the eye ointment.  I mean, do they make tons of money off of it?  Not likely?  Why not send flu season babies home with an oral antibiotic just in case?  They don't do that, so then why do we think they want the eye ointment in so badly?  It just seems like they must really believe it can prevent other common eye infections in an infant's delicate eye.

 

I'm still not doing it with my baby, mind you, but I'd still like to fully understand what I am declining, ya know?

 

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#44 of 45 Old 03-30-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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This is why I am still wondering if the medical community really believes it is for more than just preventing an infection from STD's.  I know some of you are saying that isn't so and I'll admit, I only have the experience of having birthed one baby in one hospital so I'm obviously no expert.  But, I would love to ask a doctor whom I trust (ha!) in a situation where we were off the record and have them tell me what the real story is on the eye ointment.  I mean, do they make tons of money off of it?  Not likely?  Why not send flu season babies home with an oral antibiotic just in case?  They don't do that, so then why do we think they want the eye ointment in so badly?  It just seems like they must really believe it can prevent other common eye infections in an infant's delicate eye.

 

I'm still not doing it with my baby, mind you, but I'd still like to fully understand what I am declining, ya know?

 

 

Well they  did try and convince me that it would help with any other germs, too.  And I told them no thanks, that only I or my husband would be touching my baby's face. 
 

 

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#45 of 45 Old 03-31-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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There are actually many studies showing that the eye aniontment lowers infections from other bacteria in the first couple weeks of life, esp staph. I have some saved on my computer somewhere if people want to see them. I am not saying  go get the ointment( like I said, I would not even though we did deal with an infection), but i think its important to have the right info out there. It isn't just hospitals saying it will prevent other infections: there is quite a bit of evidence out there...

 

 

This study seems to sum up well what I am saying: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/92/6/755

 

Eye goop does seem to lower neonatal conjunctivitis outside of STDs, but these infections are not a big deal so its fine to forgo the goop.


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