Eye Ointment at birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 01-01-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a way to find out if the eye ointment is a law in certain states? My gp told me that it is the law to get this done. I live in Illinois.
He is super natural and mostly anti vax and has done homebirths until last year so I am not sure why he would lie to me about the ointment? He knows that we don't vaccinate and that we don't want the Vit K after birth, I asked about the ointment to double check with him since he will also be the babies doctor as well and that's when he told me that it was the law? I was a little confused and told him that I had no idea it was required and thought I could skip that.
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#2 of 33 Old 01-01-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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I certainly can't say for sure, but I don't believe there is any "law" about putting any substances on or in a babe. Yes, I'm actually quite sure there's no law. There may be a public health policy or some such, but not a law.
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#3 of 33 Old 01-01-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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I can't imagine that it's a law. Your doc may not know and just made it up. He may 'think' it's a law. I don't know why docs have a habit of talking as though they know it all.

If they don't know why don't they say "I DON'T KNOW"?

None of my 3 grandsons had it. All three were born in hospitals.
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#4 of 33 Old 01-01-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Usually you can look up the statutes online. For instance, in NY it is the law to get vit k injection and eye goop...I've been in touch with a lot of people about it. One of the many many reasons to avoid a hospital birth if possible...homebirth midwives tend to hassle one less about these sorts of things. In some states you can waive procedures like these, some not. In some of the non-waiver states hospitals may try to call CPS ... sometimes CPS will tell them to mind their own business, but IMO, not a risk one would take lightly.
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#5 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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I live in a state where it's "law", but our doc was able to do a quick eye exam instead. I'm not sure what the legalities are there, though.
He might be able to just put a tiny bit in and then wipe it right out or something?
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#6 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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All medical interventions can be mandatory...but they can all be refused. Your doc may not know this. I was told that either DD or I had to be tested for HIV, that it was the law...It was not and I simply refused...since I already had a court order for them to release my DD, what were they going to do? You may have to sign a waiver though, just like for any other prophylactic treatment that you refuse.

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#7 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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I agree with PP. Docs will tell you anything, so you're smart to question this so-called law . . . especially because it doesn't exist!

Vaccination Liberation keeps good tabs on state-by-state laws.
(http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/illinois.htm) Here's their blurb on Illinois:

"For those who are planning a hospital birth but want to evade invasive routine post natal procedures such as a Hep B shot, vitamin K injection, newborn screening, or the application of silver nitrate in the newborn's eyes, a very specific birthing plan must be submitted to the hospital in advance of the birth. Hospital staff must be informed, in advance, of your needs, wants and desires where your baby and birthing experience are concerned. The same applies to midwives."

Disclaimer: You may want to follow the site's link to Illinois statutes or contact Vax Lib to ensure that the aforementioned is up to date.

If you'll encounter any hurdle, it won't be state law but Hospital "Law."

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#8 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mykidsmyworld View Post
Is there a way to find out if the eye ointment is a law in certain states? My gp told me that it is the law to get this done. I live in Illinois.
He is super natural and mostly anti vax and has done homebirths until last year so I am not sure why he would lie to me about the ointment? He knows that we don't vaccinate and that we don't want the Vit K after birth, I asked about the ointment to double check with him since he will also be the babies doctor as well and that's when he told me that it was the law? I was a little confused and told him that I had no idea it was required and thought I could skip that.
Can you PM me who your doc is? Our doc used to do home births until last year and we were one of his last patients.

I refused the drops. You are given all kinds of tests to make sure that you do not have any "bad" bacteria that could cause baby issues when he/she is born. The drops are to prevent gonorrhea and chlamydia from causing infection in baby's eyes. If you have a clean STD panel (and they also take a strep culture of the vaginal area at 37/38 weeks) why would your baby need eye drops?

You can refuse it. I would make sure that you clean baby's face well and keep a close eye on baby...but the drops just make no sense if you have nothing to cause a problem (if you get a yeast infection, etc before you deliver, I would advise the drops, then). Otherwise, it's just one more thing that doesn't need to be done.

I've been searching online for info on your question, however, and cannot find anything. Just because it's not law doesn't mean it's not hospital POLICY. You may want to check with the hospital. It may be policy that eye drops are given...at the very least, they would be able to point you in the direction to get more info on the laws regarding it, if it is a law.

Hope that helps!!
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#9 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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(if you get a yeast infection, etc before you deliver, I would advise the drops, then). Otherwise, it's just one more thing that doesn't need to be done.
They are ONLY for those two specific infections.

Since they are an antibiotic, they would of course do nothing for yeast

-Angela
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#10 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Angela512 View Post
...but the drops just make no sense if you have nothing to cause a problem (if you get a yeast infection, etc before you deliver, I would advise the drops, then).
Aren't the eye drops an antibiotic? How would that help a yeast infection (which would be a fungal infection, right?!) I had been planning on refusing the eye goop, so I'm sincerely curious because I tend to get yeast infections.
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#11 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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Right...my bad...you would not need the drops for yeast.

So, then, if you do not have any STD's or your vaginal strep culture comes back clean (which, I believe 95% of them do), there is no need for the drops.

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Ummm... Angelas type faster than I.
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#13 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Right...my bad...you would not need the drops for yeast.

So, then, if you do not have any STD's or your vaginal strep culture comes back clean (which, I believe 95% of them do), there is no need for the drops.

The eye drops are NOT for strep b. They are only for the two STDs. I have seen nothing saying that strep b is a concern for a newborn's eyes.

-Angela
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#14 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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You can always refuse. I refused last week after our transfer and I didn't even have to sign anything. I just told them no eye drops, vit K, Hep B, etc. PERIOD. Be respectful to them, yet firm.

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#15 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 05:36 AM
 
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it IS a law in the same way that vaxes are law. You can refuse. PUt it in writign in your birth plan. Sure, they might call children's services, but that is no reason to be scaremongered into giving your child a med. Chances are no one would be called.

I throughly researched this one. We gave it to dd cause I didn't know any better. My MW scaremongered me and told me cause I was Group B positive...blah blah blah. The reality is that this is for Clamidya/Syphilis or another STD...but it's for STD's ONLY. If you do not have an STD and if your risk factor is low for carrying an STD that is lying dormant (just like AIDS can be dorment in the body for about 9 months, so it is important to keep testing even up to a year after your last unprotected encounter, other STDS also have various "dorment" phases, where they are in your system but just not showing up positive on a test/culture yet) then there is NO REASON in the universe to have this done.

dd had it and immediately her eyes became red and swollen shut. It was AWFUL. There was no history in the family of allergic reaction, and she has had antibiotics since then without any problem, but this time it was IMMEDIATE and we were told "oh that happens sometimes, that is why it's good for them to see your face before hand, so that they can bond with you BEFORE their eyesight gets messed up from the drops (which were not drops, but more like an ointment). It'll only last for a day or so." : Well, it lasted for nearly 2 weeks.

This was followed by pink eye and all sorts of stuff.

DS didn't have the drops but also had pink eye. I squired some breast milk in there and it cleared right up within a few days.

Research this thoroughly. Print the information and give it to your doctor to let him know that you can refuse this (like ANY OTHER medical act!) regardless of the law. It is YOUR body. You don't need to wait to have a reaction to get a doctors PERMISSION to refuse these sorts of things...you can make this determination yourself if you feel the potential good outweighs the potential bad.

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#16 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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The eye drops are NOT for strep b. They are only for the two STDs. I have seen nothing saying that strep b is a concern for a newborn's eyes.

-Angela
This is what I was told by both doctors. This is why I was told that they test for Strep B prior to baby being born...so that if a mother has it, they know for sure to treat it. I was only told that they use the eye drops for all of this.
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#17 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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This is what I was told by both doctors. This is why I was told that they test for Strep B prior to baby being born...so that if a mother has it, they know for sure to treat it. I was only told that they use the eye drops for all of this.
The Drs. were wrong. Intentional or not, who knows....

the eye goop is for the two STDs ONLY. Nothing else. Not strep. Not some random infection. Not something they can pick up in the hospital. STDs in mom ONLY.

-Angela
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#18 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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We refused the eye gunk and vit k and heb b all at birth (Ohio)... got funny/wierd looks from the nurses but that was it
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#19 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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For strep B, they give you antibiotics in an IV. They treat the mother during labor and don't do anything to the baby. Invasive group B strep infections in newborns can't be prevented with eye drops because they're systemic infections, not located in the eye or even just starting in the eye.

The eye drops are for gonorrhea (mostly), and chlamydia (to a lesser extent, sorta).
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#20 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your input,
I am wondering if he meant hospital policy? I am going to call to see what they say.
I don't have any STD's and generally don't get funky bacteria so I know it's not needed.
My son had it done before I knew and he had so much in his eyes I couldn't even see them, after they were red and irritated so I really don't want to do that again.
I am going to write up a birth plan soon even though he said it is not needed since he is the doctor and pediatrician and that the baby never leaves the room and any testing is done right there by the mother.
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#21 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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In most states it is only law that the eye drops are offered; not that you take them. I have seen drs in my state say it's against the law to refuse when the law only says it has to be offered. I don't know if they don't understand the law or if they are lying... I don't know what it is for IL, but for the states I've lived in this is what the law said.

They are almost always hospital policy.
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#22 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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It is state law in my state that all children born receive the eye drops, however if you read through the state statues carefully you will also read that you have the right to refuse!

I got in a HUGE fight with my hospital over this since they said it was the law and they even copied and mailed the statue to me, which I sent back to them with the part that included my ability to refuse it. They also tried telling me that I could be reported to CPS for refusing.

If you look through your states website you should be able to find the revised statues and look it up yourself.

Edit:
Ok so I went and looked it up for you.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...p?ChapterID=35


I didn't read through all of it but I know it was kind of hidden in mine so I really had to look through the whole section regarding childrens health.
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#23 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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There is a lot of confusion out there about strep b and its treatment and diagnosis. Here is an overview.

http://children.webmd.com/tc/group-b...topic-overview

As you can see from reading that, the eye drops are not for strep B.

It is my understanding that all 50 states require some treatment for stds in the eyes at birth. However, at least in my state, it is not hard to get out of it. It used to be silver nitrate they used but is now antibiotics. I would contact the hospital and ask them their policy and ask where you can find the state's policy. Then, write your birth plan accordingly.

http://www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/vie...Web.aspx?id=19

When I had my dd recently, the midwife just did not do the drops, per our request. There was no oversight and the MD we see now did not even ask about it.
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#24 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, I am going to look through this now!

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Originally Posted by TayTaysMama View Post
It is state law in my state that all children born receive the eye drops, however if you read through the state statues carefully you will also read that you have the right to refuse!

I got in a HUGE fight with my hospital over this since they said it was the law and they even copied and mailed the statue to me, which I sent back to them with the part that included my ability to refuse it. They also tried telling me that I could be reported to CPS for refusing.

If you look through your states website you should be able to find the revised statues and look it up yourself.

Edit:
Ok so I went and looked it up for you.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...p?ChapterID=35


I didn't read through all of it but I know it was kind of hidden in mine so I really had to look through the whole section regarding childrens health.
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#25 of 33 Old 01-02-2008, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is state law in my state that all children born receive the eye drops, however if you read through the state statues carefully you will also read that you have the right to refuse!

I got in a HUGE fight with my hospital over this since they said it was the law and they even copied and mailed the statue to me, which I sent back to them with the part that included my ability to refuse it. They also tried telling me that I could be reported to CPS for refusing.

If you look through your states website you should be able to find the revised statues and look it up yourself.

Edit:
Ok so I went and looked it up for you.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...p?ChapterID=35


I didn't read through all of it but I know it was kind of hidden in mine so I really had to look through the whole section regarding childrens health.
Quote:
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Thank you, I am going to look through this now!
Ok I read through the Infant eye disease act and It says that the drops need to be administered but I don't see where you can opt out?
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#26 of 33 Old 01-03-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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I just discussed this with my MW today. She was totally on board with opting out of the eye ointment, but informed dh and I that if you sign the consent waiver you automatically open a CPS investigation. AHHHHHHHH!!!! She thinks it's bogus, but I want no part of CPS. She recommended hinting to the nurse that I'm not crazy about it and sometimes the nurses sort of "miss" with the drops and then dh or I can wipe the baby's eyes. She said that was her best recommendation.

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#27 of 33 Old 01-03-2008, 02:40 AM
 
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Hi All,

I refused the hep b during our first birth, but didn't have enough knowledge to refuse the vitamin k or eye ointment/drops. Here's my question: are the eye drops JUST for STD's? Is there any way a baby can catch any other virus from just coming thru the birth canal? I done some reading and its never specific about why the ointment is used, just for "infections". I'm 95% sure we'll refuse but I would just like to know more about this. I dont have any STD's and if that's the only reason for the ointment/drops then our DS certainly wont need it!
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#28 of 33 Old 01-03-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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Yes, they are just for STDs. It's a specific antibiotic. My friend and I were arguing about this last night - she was SURE they were to protect the baby's eyes from all ills they could be exposed to - but it's NOT. Goodness, my two babes who had the gunk were the ones who GOT goopy eye.

They only say infections because quite a few people would be offended if they were told it's to protect their baby from STDs Seriously. So they don't tell you, also because they don't believe you when you tell them you aren't at risk for STDs.
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#29 of 33 Old 01-03-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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As other posters have said, you have the right to refuse anything. FWIW, my son had pink eye recently and was prescribed the same goop that they put in newborn's eyes (erithromyocin). I thought I might be getting it too, so I put some into MY eyes one night, because I was feeling paranoid. Guess what? It wasn't really a big deal. I mean, I completely understand refusing it on principal because it's unnecessary, but when it comes down to nuts and bolts, it's not painful and you can just wipe the stuff out. So you'll have to decide whether it's a battle you want to bother fighting or not. Personally, I'd rather argue about when my next baby's cord gets cut than worry about some easily-wiped-away eye goop Just my opinion.

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#30 of 33 Old 01-04-2008, 07:41 AM
 
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totally disagree with you mama. Taking antibiotics MAY not have been a big deal for you, but trry telling that to someone who is allergic to antibiotics. And you know what? The only way to know if you are allergic to something is to TAKE IT, it's not something that can be predicted (though that may be a risk factor, and as such could be a reliable indicator).

Furthermore, antibiotics, even administered in the eye, still GET IN THE BLOOD STREAM and affect the whole body. A baby, who is just building their gut flora/etc... is WAY suciptable to EVERYand ANY thing you put in their little bodies.

And you can NOT just wipe it out. It was an ointment for us...used to be drops, eitherway, when it is in the eye...it's IN THE EYE, you cant just take it out, and if you tried you'd be introducing even more bacteria and irritants to the baby's delicate eye mebranes.

MANY babies have blurry vision and red, swollen, or puffy eyes after words. Even my MW AND DR told me this before we gave it to DD. THey said that this was a common reaction and that is why they recommend waiting at least TWO HOURS after the birth to do it, so that nursing can be established and eye contact can be made before the baby's vision is affected. Some babies might not have affected vision, some might have it for a few hours or minutes or days or even weeks. There is no way to tell. None at all. We have no allergies to antibiotics, but dd's eyes were affected for nearly 2 weeks after the fact!

This little innocent baby is born, like through all time and all over the world, and the first thing we do is stick them with a hep b vacine (which can only be transmitted through bodily fluids...what is YOUR risk factor) needle and put goop in their eyes so they cant see and bond or shoot them up with vit k, which would be in a healthy full term baby anyways, and certainly transferred in mothers milk/colustrum right away. Even premie babies would likely have vit k if the mother were not SEVERLY malnourished (mostly EVERY mother in the Western world today).

What we SHOULD be doing is resting, relaxing, bonding, making tons of eye contact, showing the baby that she is safe and protected. Nursing. Hugging, kissing, cuddling and holding close. Calling relatives and friends to share in the good and happy news. Just resting in dim lighting (labor is exhausting and a lot of hard work, spiritually and physically.) eating a nourishing meal, drinking a tea. Maybe taking a bath or shower, maybe with baby maybe with out (I didn't bathe ds for a full week...LOVED that new baby smell and wanted the vernix to moisturize his little body). Birth should be gentle. Being born should be gentle. No hustle and bustle. A new life came into the world. Be quiet. Be in the moment. Be with that. Trust the process (it got your little guy here in the first place).

You can vaccinate
later
you can give eye goop
later
you can give vit k
later
you can "observe baby"
later
you can do everything LATER. After baby has bonded and you have bonded and all is well with the world after your new little one has come to join us and play!

Now my no nonsense thoughts on the matter:

Vit K is bogus. Give me a good reason to do it for a healthy mother and a healthy baby who is not undergoing immediate and major surgery (and thus would have some blood clotting issues)

Eye drops are bogus, unless you have an STD or are a potential carrier. Give me one good reason why they are not.

Hep B vax in a baby who's parents are not carriers and who is not going to be in a public place (daycare) where they may be exchange of bodily fluids (NOT your local grocery shopping conditions, obviously!) is bogus. Give me on egood reason...

You get the picture.

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