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#1 of 24 Old 11-06-2003, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We didn't have a normal "newborn" experience with our first son so we are at a loss for what are the normal, "required" procedures at most US hospitals and what to think of them. From my understanding there is "eye gunk" (what is it, what is it for and where can I get informed info), Vitamin K (again what is it and why and where can I get more info), the PKU test. Is there anything else? What are the important things I should know about these things?

I know it's a ton of questions but I'm so lost and for some reason this site is very slow to load so I have trouble doing research on here.

Thanks.
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#2 of 24 Old 11-06-2003, 07:41 AM
 
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"eye gunk" is an antibacterial ointment, supposedly to protect against any STD's in the birth canal. if you have no STD's, you pretty much don't need it.

Vitamin K is a shot they administer to help the blood clot "just in case" of hemorrage. I don't know the stats exactly, but they are very very low.
some mothers choose to supplement themselves with greens esp. alfalfa (which you can also get in capsule form) leading up to and for a time after the birth, some think that if a baby's not born with it, then it's not necessary, and some choose to agree to the shot only if the birth has been traumatic and interventionist.

PKU should be done at about 3 days old, and screens for a whole bunch of potentially very dangerous things, all of which are also very rare.
it is performed by cutting the side of the baby's heel, and dripping the blood within 4 circles on a piece of card, enough for it to soak right through.
in my daughters experience, this took at least 10 long agonising minutes, and was very traumatic for her (and for me...but that's void, the midwife said most parents actually leave the room because it's too painful to hear their little babies cry so extremely, but i could never leave her alone like that).

PKU is the only one that i did have done, i discussed and agonised over the decision with my partner for days, and we agreed to get it for piece of mind. i half wish i didn't, but i am glad to know she has none of the things it screens for.
However, i really had no idea that the test took so long, or that they needed so much blood. i wish i had've been more prepared for the proceedure and known exactly what it would entail. Even for all the questions i asked and research i did, i was still surprised. perhaps reading someones personal account of the proceedure would have been best, but i never came accross one.

I don't have any links on hand, but all these things have been covered very extensively on here. If no-one has posted any that they have by tomorrow i will try to find some if baby gives me the time

you may also want to check the 'midwifes and doulas' board, they are awesome and know just about EVERYTHING!!

is this site slow for you all the time? maybe try at a less busy time when there's not so many people logged on?

happy hunting
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#3 of 24 Old 11-06-2003, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info. I'm not sure if its all the time since I rarely get on but at 5:30am CST it appears to be fine so I may just be hitting the busiest times when I check right after dinner. But that's the only time I have to get on these days (well, except for today when I woke up at 3am paranoid again about birthing and immunizations and possibly switching insurance companies!).
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#4 of 24 Old 11-06-2003, 08:32 PM
 
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http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=88723

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#5 of 24 Old 11-06-2003, 09:21 PM
 
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Hey Again,
For our DS we chose not to have the "eye gunk", there was no risk of STD's and after babies have that stuff in their eyes they are unable to see, which when babies are born their sight (I believe) is about exactly the length from your arms to your eyes so they can see you as you are breastfeeding.

We also chose not to do the Vitamin K because we were not circumcising our son so we did not feel there was a relevant reason to do so.

We also struggled about the PKU however in the end we chose to go ahead with it mainly for the reason that nothing was going to be entering his body. I nursed him the entire time and he did not make a peep. He really did great with it. I would make sure to find someone who has experience doing it in order to minimize and uncompfortness it may cause. But I would definitely recommend nursing during it.

Hope that helps some

Megan

SAHM to
Landon 10-23-02
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#6 of 24 Old 11-11-2003, 03:18 AM
 
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We chose not to get the vit. K shot, the PKU test, or the antibiotics for the eyes, and the hep. shot. We did not circ. ds.
The reason I chose not to have the PKU test was because they told me that it would not be valid since he was 24 hours old and he'd have to have it repeated at his 1 week check up so I opted to just have his test done once at his ped. office.
(With our dd, we had everything done because I just trusted all the dr's and we actually were waiting to be discharged and were told we had to do the PKU test before being discharged only to have it redone at her 1 week check up. Why do it in the first place???
)
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#7 of 24 Old 11-21-2003, 08:06 PM
 
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the antibiotic ointment, IMO, may be a good idea if you are giving birth in the hospital. there are so many many germs floating around in hospitals, and newborns are so suseptible to them...in any case, if you are having a homebirth, and you are sureyou do not have any STDs, IMO, skip the eye goo. if you choose to do the goo in the hospital, you can wait an hour or two so you can bond with baby (and baby with you) in those beautiful first moments, when they are alert and ready to bond. jsut be sure you state this clearly and don't let anyone take your baby or you can be pretty sure he/she will be returned to you with the goo already in the eyes.

PKU and the other tests that go with that (galactosemia, and another one) are, IMO, really really important, although all the conditions they test for are exceedingly rare metabolic disorders (most of which are hereditary and you'd know if you or someone in your family had them). there is still a chance, however slim, that your newbornm may have one of them and if they do, quick action and a special diet (sadly, galactosemia is the one situation in which breastmilk is actually not healthy for a baby. they lack the enzyme to break down sugars in milk and can become brain damaged if not fed a specially formulated formula) can save your baby from mental retardation and worse in any case, it does no good to have these tests done in the hospital on the 1st or 2nd day of life because baby hasn't eaten enough yet to start metabolizing anything. we had a homebirth and thus, brought our babe to the docs office at around 5 days to get these tests done. however, there is a slim window that you have to find out and start the diet if the baby has the disorder, i think it's no more than 6 or 7 days old. check with your doc.

vit K we did end up getting even at our homebirth, because it was one of those things that is not harmful (except the prick, which is a real bummer) and may save your baby from more painful things. our MW reccommended it and she was pretty non-interventionist.
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#8 of 24 Old 11-25-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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We didn't to the erythromycin (gunk in the eyes) and the Vitamin K was administered orally. The PKU I felt was important, but we went about it a whole different way. We waited four days, first of all because testing them on the first day is invalid. Then we did a blood draw through his arm with the tiniest needle you ever saw which he didn't flinch during (he actually slept through it!) and had the nurse drop the blood onto the card. there was no heel prick and the whole thing took about ten painless seconds. It's absolutely the way to go!
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#9 of 24 Old 11-25-2003, 07:43 PM
 
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We didn't to the erythromycin (gunk in the eyes) and the Vitamin K was administered orally. The PKU I felt was important, but we went about it a whole different way. We waited four days, first of all because testing them on the first day is invalid. Then we did a blood draw through his arm with the tiniest needle you ever saw which he didn't flinch during (he actually slept through it!) and had the nurse drop the blood onto the card. there was no heel prick and the whole thing took about ten painless seconds. It's absolutely the way to go!
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#10 of 24 Old 11-28-2003, 11:07 AM
 
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Keep in mind all of these "tests" carry side effects.

The prophylaxis for eyes has long been suspected for decades to cause myopia in life. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn stated this in one of his lectures I attended. Doctors also do not believe that babies can focus well, so they do not think it is important for babies to make eye-to-eye contact.

My midwife's daughter has myopia. No one in her family ever had it; myopia is a recessive genetic condition often. The hospital staff thought the drop of silver nitrate had not made it into her left eye, so they put another drop in her left eye. Her vision was 20/100 in the right eye and 20/400 in her left.

Vitamin K can cause jaundice in a newborn; the baby's liver is too immature to process or store this material, so it ends up in the tissues and causes a yellow color in the skin. This necessitates more interventions as bilirubin lights which cause dehydration, constipation, and there is evidence that riboflavin levels drop in the blood, the long terms effects of which are unknown.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#11 of 24 Old 11-28-2003, 01:16 PM
 
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Applejuice,
That's really interesting. Where did you get the info on Vitamin K? I want to know more!
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#12 of 24 Old 11-29-2003, 03:02 PM
 
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Go to the vax forum and do a search. Key word "vitamin K" or "jaundice" or "bilirubin".

I will look for you.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#13 of 24 Old 11-29-2003, 09:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by applejuice


Vitamin K can cause jaundice in a newborn; the baby's liver is too immature to process or store this material, so it ends up in the tissues and causes a yellow color in the skin.

Ahhh...so that'd be why we're NOT BORN WITH IT. Wow, what a revelation.
Why does our species think we need to give nature such a helping hand by injecting our babies full of crap they can't even process?
It's so bloody arrogant.
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#14 of 24 Old 11-29-2003, 09:54 PM
 
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The reason the hospital gives vitamin K when nature knows better is because they treat the newborn roughly with picks and prods and lots of handling.

There are always side-effects to all procedures in the hospital. Every intervention, however small, carries with it a side-effect for which there is another procedure to counteract it.

Whereas in nature, the newborn would be handled gently and carefully without the picks, prods, wrapping, poking, washing, etc.

Nature knows best.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#15 of 24 Old 11-30-2003, 02:20 AM
 
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Ya know, now that you mention it...dd had really bad jaundice and was yellow for almost 2 weeks. She HAD the Vit. K shot.

My ds didn't have any jaundice and he DID NOT get the Vit. K shot.
Makes ya think...
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#16 of 24 Old 11-30-2003, 04:30 AM
 
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Exactly. I don't think Mother Nature planned on vacuum extractors or forceps. Those increase the risk of hemorrhagic bleeding in newborns, which is what the Vit K is trying to prevent.
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#17 of 24 Old 11-30-2003, 05:16 AM
 
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I wanted to include my informed choice sheets on

- Vit K: http://www.midwifemama.com/newborn.html

- Eye prophylaxis: http://www.midwifemama.com/eyeprophylaxis.html

- Newborn Metabolic Screening (also called the "PKU test"): http://www.midwifemama.com/pku.html
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#18 of 24 Old 11-30-2003, 05:55 AM
 
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My ds had the vit K shot too and he had jaundice (not enough that I took him the dr but he had yellow eye whites), I said no in the papers I wrote but they did it right after he was born anyways......grr....oh the eye gunk makes me so angry. They totally fought me on this and just did it. His eyelids were red for 6 WEEKS. Dh and I were virgins when we got married, no sexual contact with anyone else, NO chance for STD's AND I was tested and they KNEW that.....anyways, they said I still *could* have an undetected one and my son could go blind without the eye crap......grrr

Also I read that Vit K is only needed for blood clotting if your baby is going to be bleeding........we didnt circ so it was totally unnecessary.

Desiree

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#19 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 05:43 AM
 
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a bit T...

RE: the eye gunk

All doctors believe that every one has STD's - EVERYONE!!

How do I know that?

When a doctor takes a health history, and asks a question such as, "Have you ever had TB?", and you say, "No", the doctor writes down, "NO."

When a doctor takes a health history, and asks the same patient, "Have you ever had an STD (veneral disease)?" and you say, "No", the doctor writes down, "Patient denies STD (venereal disease)."

Bizarre, but true.

I recall Dr. Mendelsohn saying this during one of his talks, and then I saw it in my own DH's medical report weeks before he died!

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#20 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 04:09 PM
 
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T
applejuice,
just by way of a quick explanation of why docs may write "patient denies STDs." it's not that they don't believe you, it's a liability thing. i'm a psychotherapist, and in doing intakes with new clients i always ask if they are currently homicidal or suicidal. if someone says "no," it is "proper" notetaking procedure to write "client denies all at intake." it's just to protect the practitioner in case the client ISN'T being truthful and they go out and kill themselves or someone else. if i write "client is not suicidal" rather than "client denies suicidal ideation" then i can be found liable if they ARE. stupid, eh? unfortunately, being a practitioner these days, one has to be wary of legal BS. it sucks.

pamamidwife, thanks so much for the wonderful links to your site. i am passing the info on to all of my pregnant friends. they are so clearly written and make so much sense. you must be a tremendous midwife!
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#21 of 24 Old 12-04-2003, 04:33 AM
 
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If a patient says they do not and have not had an STD (venereal disease) that should be the end of it.

Why write something down like that?

As for liability, you can be liable for almost anything as a practitioner.

That makes no sense at all.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#22 of 24 Old 12-04-2003, 08:37 AM
 
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Let's not forget the Hep B vaccination given in the first 24 hours of life!
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#23 of 24 Old 12-05-2003, 01:30 AM
 
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I don't think anyone should get bent out of shape for the use of the term "denies". It is just medical - speak. And for the record, the correct way to document that a patient has not had TB is to also write "Pt denies history of TB." It is also appropriate to write "Pt reports no history of STD." or "Pt states "I have never had an STD." " It doesn't mean that you don't believe him. It is the legally correct way of documentation. Documentation gets totally torn apart in a court of law, and it is very important that *all* practitioners, whereever their location, whatever their specialty, use the same language. If everyone had their own abbreviations and ways of writing, it would be very difficult to transfer records and read another practitioners notes.

The use of the word "denies" or the terms "Pt reports" and "Pt states" is also appropriate in the style of expected documentation. You are supposed to at least attempt to document objectively, not your opinion. If I document "Pt is resting comfortably" how do I infact know that is the case? Maybe my patient has just passed out in pain. And it doesn't tell the next practitioner who reads the chart anything. Instead, a more appropriate way of charting would be something like "Pt appears to be sleeping; lying quietly in bed, eyes closed, room is dimmed. Respirs are even and nonlabored." If I document "Pt has pain with walking" how do I know that, really? And how helpful is that to others who are caring for the person? Appropriate documentation would be "Pt grimaces and moans when ambulating. When asked, pt reports pain in her left foot and ankle, rates pain 8 on scale of 10."

If I wrote on a chart "Pt has no STDs" I am stating that I know for a fact that she has no STDs. How do I know that? Because she told me? How does *she* know that? Has she ever been tested? Does she even know what STDs are? I have had several women tell me they have never had any STDs, and then later, when I look in their chart to get their pap history (required for the lab requisition), I see that they have had HPV. HPV is an STD. So, if I would have documented they had no STDs, I would have been incorrect. People forget about a diagnosis, or they don't realize that certain infections are considered an STD, and sometimes they are embaressed to report it. I myself remember completely denying any history of surgery, only to have my doctor say, "What is this?" when he saw the scar that runs across ten inches of my abdomen from a surgery I had as an infant. It just totally slipped my mind. That happens. By saying "Pt denies STDs" or "Pt states no history of STDs" I am reporting what is happening. That she said she didn't have any STDs. Not that she doesn't have them, because I cannot possibly know that. Rather, I am writing what the fact is; that she says she doesn't have an STD.

The use of "denies" is not perjorative. It is simply appropriate documentation.
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#24 of 24 Old 12-05-2003, 10:44 AM
 
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There isn't a problem as long as the language is consistent -- as long as the doctor also writes "patient reports no previous surgeries," etc. I think people are bent out of shape because in the original example given, the doctor wrote "NO tb" but then wrote "patient denies STD's."

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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