Help/Advice? Keeping newborn shot free at the hospital? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 09-03-2013, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay I'm due in 6 week, this is my first pregnancy. I'm having her at the hospital and we do not want her to have any vaccinations. What can I do to make sure that our baby stays shot free? Would they have something for me to sign ahead of time?

I also want her to stay with me, and not have a bottle. So I was thinking about printing something out for them to put in my file or tape on the door or what ever. I guess this is stuff I could be asking my doctor. I'll try to remember to at tomorrows appointment.... I so plan to do this at home next time.


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#2 of 14 Old 09-03-2013, 09:09 PM
 
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Can you take a hospital tour and ask what their usual policies are?  I know a lot of hospitals are moving away from having well-baby nurseries (it's way cheaper for them to have the baby room in with you), and some are getting really strict about locking up formula and making it hard for moms to get to, so those things may be non-issues.  (Although it never hurts to communicate your preferences with your care team.)

 

In terms of "shot free", you're likely to get some pushback, particularly on Vitamin K, which is an iron-supplement shot given to babies to prevent hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN).  Typically, because of the shot, only about 1 in 10,000 newborns has severe bleeding problems, but there have been 4 recent cases of HDN in Kentucky, and the issue has been getting a lot of publicity.  There's sometimes an oral alternative to Vitamin K, which is a vitamin, not a vaccine. 

 

The only other newborn shot I can remember is Hep B, but I was pretty blitzed after both births, so someone else might want to weigh in on standard practice.  I have never had trouble refusing Hep B, but your mileage may vary.

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#3 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 05:30 AM
 
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The best way to make sure all baby care is Mom approved is to keep your baby with you at all times. That is exactly what I did. I didnt make a big deal out of not vaccinating for Hep B, I just told the nurse we were WAITING and signed a form that said we waive the vaccine and initialed a form upon discharge that said I DO NOT wish for my infant to receive HepB blah blah blah. Not a big deal if it isn't made in to one. Vit K has to be given within 30 min so it is done quickly with little time to consider it so know in advance what you will do. Certain circumstances increase the likleyhood of a bleed, definitely talk to your midwife/ob about that.

HOWEVER, since it such standard practice now, I would not let baby out of my sight for a second. Do not send baby to the nursery for a quick shower or a rest. It could happen that a nursery nurse not knowing your wishes may just vaccinate to get it done while he is available and 'have Mom sign the consent later.'. Its unfortunate, but it could happen. Have dp go with baby if you can't and if for some reason baby has to go to the nursey (dorm monitoring, etc) make sure someone who knows your wishes is standing at the window. You could also consider a birth plan that states your wishes.

A nightshift nurse came to get my baby while I was sleeping for a hearing test. Lol. She was surprised to find baby sleeping on my chest skin to skin. I woke and she told me she would like to take baby. I said "ok let me slip on my shoes" as i sat up and zipped my housecoat (wearing your own front button or zip jammmies is suoer helpful). She told me I wasn't allowed to go in the nursery and I said that I was so interested in seeing a hearing test completed, etc. Once we were in there ;-) she did everything she needed to do (we refused a bath) and was super friendly and happy to share her job with me. I didn't hear another peep from her until shift change when she poked her head in to tell me bye and congrats. Remember, they aren't your enemies, they are just trying to do their job. Bees with honey, honey.

Best wishes! Congratulations!

Oh, and regarding your other post about family being unsupportive, just don't bring it up. Really, everyone will be so happy to see new baby and watch her grow maybe they won't mention it. I know you will want to, but you don't have to explain yourself or educate your family right now. Just enjoy being a new mamma, it is blissful.
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#4 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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When DD was born, I had a 3 page "Birthing Plan" that was plastered everywhere. It covered things like no Vit K, no antibiotic eye ointment, and no Hep B and other stuff like not bottle or paci and baby was never to leave my room unless accompanied by myself or DH.  We didn't get any flack for it.  It was a midwife birth in hospital - I even stipulated that I wanted minimal people in the room, so only one nurse was there for laboring and one more came in about 30 seconds pre-baby popping out, made sure no extra hands were needed, then realized that DH was pretty much acting as a 2nd nurse and she left lol.  Other than the pit to "speed things along" I got everything I wanted.  No pain meds, baby on my chest, DH caught her coming out (bare handed and bare feet haha), delayed cord cutting, no ointment in the eyes, no suction, no vit k, no hep b.....basically all the "hospital policies" were not forced on us because we went in there educated, with a plan, and our midwife was ready to back us up as well.

 

I would honestly be more worried about the ridiculous number of checks they do at completely inopportune times.  I gave birth at 5:12am.  Water broke 4:30 am the day before. I never got a bit of sleep, not even a power nap, and thank god for those hormones, because I finally was able to settle in around 11pm that first night, after having been awake for almost 44 hrs straight - and not 20mins after I'd nursed DD and fallen asleep myself, a nurse came into the room near midnight to do a weight check on the baby.  Had I not been so tired I would have gone ballistic.  She insisted she could take baby and bring her back, I said absolutely not, and went with her to the nursery. DH was asleep during all of this (men!) and I was fuming when we got back to the room, and partly because you are not allowed to carry the babies outside of the room, they must be wheeled in the little cart.  So my poor sleeping baby was taken from my warm arms and placed in a cold bed (after she chastised me for falling asleep with a baby in my arms - oh the horror!) wheeled down a cold hallway under bright fluorescent lights, stripped out of her diaper and warm blankets and placed on a cold scale.  Now you tell me for what reason was it completely necessary to do this to a child that just entered the world?  I can come up with none, especially for an otherwise healthy baby and healthy delivery.

 

Sorry, long tangent!  Suffice to say you can absolutely leave the hospital with no unwanted vaccines, ointments or treatments, including the use of tanning lamps for jaundice.  You have to go in prepared and make your wishes clear and do not back down if they do question you.  Be sure your SO is ready to back you 100% (DH wouldn't allow me pain meds at hour 24 of labor and while I hated him in the moment, I'm absolutely thrilled he upheld my wishes when I couldn't think straight). Good luck and congrats!

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#5 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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I agree that the best way to make sure your LO doesn't have anything done without your approval is to keep her with you at all times. I don't even accompany my babies to the nursery; I make them bring everything to my room. I refuse to stand outside a nursery and watch someone else with my baby through a window. For me, this became necessary when my second son was born in a hospital where the staff was absolutely determined to take my baby to the nursery and keep him there, no matter what I said, and were even willing to threaten me and lie to me to make it happen.

I've had the rest of my babies at a much friendlier hospital, but I still keep them with me at all times. I always ask if things can be done in the room, and if they say they absolutely have to do something in the nursery I say, "Oh, well then, I guess we'll do it later. Maybe when we take him to the pediatrician."

Some other useful phrases:

"I realize you are just doing your job." / "I know you have to follow hospital policy." / "I certainly wouldn't want you to get in trouble." As long as you follow up with a big BUT... (And remember that YOU don't have to do their job, or follow their policy, and YOU won't get in trouble.)

"Is there a form I can sign to show that you offered?"

"I'm waiting to speak to my pediatrician about that at our first appointment."

Michelle, wife to DH, and momma to DD16, DS15, DS12, DS10, DD9, DD7, DS5, and baby girl born Christmas Eve 2013!
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#6 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 10:38 AM
 
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Write it into your birth plan, tell them you will sign the waiver forms, and keep baby with you unless there is an emergency. My last dd was a planned hospital birth and she never left our room and only left my arms a few times to be weighed and have blood drawn and my husband was right there next to her.
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#7 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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you just tell you dr and put it in writing and make sure the hospital has a copy.  or just say, i do not consent.  magic words in the medical industry...they can't do jack when you say, i do not consent.  i had a written copy of what i didn't want and orally told folks and had zero issues whatsoever. best of luck mama!

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#8 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 06:25 PM
 
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I'm kind of shocked how many of you have been told you can't go into the nursery, but that was never even mentioned to us.  We just went in.  In fact, DH walked right in, alone, before I got discharged to ask them for something and there was no issue at all.

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#9 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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If you have access to one, choose a Baby Friendly Hospital (http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about-us/baby-friendly-hospital-initiative/the-ten-steps).

I didn't do eye stuff, hep B shot and all was fine, even though DD was in the nicu for two weeks and I had to leave her in their care. It helped that I brought documentation showing I was neg for syphilis/hep b, if I didn't have that physical document with me, it would have been more difficult to decline. I did consent to vitamin k due to some extenuating circumstances, but not until day 2, and they still did not administer until they had explicit consent (after the previous non consent).
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#10 of 14 Old 09-06-2013, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all! I don't mind the long posts at all :) I totally forgot about the eye ointment! I'm not as concerned about that or the Vit K as I am a real vaccination. But I'll look into both of them more. There is a growing trend of rooming in, and breast feeding support in this area. But I'm going to have my mother print out a birth plan. And tell her and DH to help me remember to ask for any forums I should sign in regards to non-consenting.

 

My doctor said a few visits ago that she would help me do things as naturally as I wanted, after she asked me to go do the pre sign up for an epidural. Lol. I smiled as soon every time she said natural, and said that's just what I want. This last visit I didn't get to ask about the hospital or anything because she had me on my back longer then I should have been there doing an ultra sound. As soon as I spoke up she helped me roll over and started fanning me. I was trying to tuff it out and let her do her job. Kinda off topic but her only concern is how small my baby is. If I go the full 40 weeks {and there is no reason I shouldn't} we are looking at a 5-5 1/2lb baby tops. When she started talking about averages I pretty much tuned her out. My little girl is still growing, and very active, everything looks normal just small. My DH points out with a smile that my belly grows every day. But Dr decided to have blood drawn to check my thyroid. Ick! So after getting a glimpse of her on the ultra sound my only focus was not passing out. Those closets to me are not surprise or concerned at all. I'm a little person my self, was only 12lb at a year old, now I'm 5'1" normally around 120lbs. I've been sick off and on the whole time so I haven't gained much. Dr and staff said eat more, I say I do shrug.gif Anyhow...

 

DH supports me 100%. He is not normally an out spoken man, but when it comes to things he really cares about he will put his foot down, and this us one of those things. If they need to check something out of our room and I am not able to go my self DH and/or my mom will. She is fully on bored too. Those two are the only ones I know I am for sure okay with being in the room while I'm in labor.

 

Oh the irony about the hospitals! I opted not to use an Indian Hospital {for Native Americans} because I don't care for the way they tend to do things there. They can be very pushy! And that is the only one listed on the baby friendly site for OK. But I know that while they are big time supporters of breast feeding, and are happy to leave the baby with you. They push any and all meds they can. I would think more of them around here are baby friendly, but just not on the site. The one I'm using is the only one my Dr attends, and seems to be one of the best around. So here's hoping.

 

As far as family that mite disapprove of our plans, I doubt it will come up at the hospital. But DHs step mom is a nurse and nosy so I know its going to come up sooner then later. But oh well, she'll just have to get over it. The rest ether agree with us, or are respectful and will only very politely express their concerns. And I'm find with that.

 

Again, thank you all so much! I feel more confident about my plans now.


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#11 of 14 Old 09-06-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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I wouldn't put too much faith on those ultrasounds.  I was tracking "small" and "behind" by about 2 wks throughout my pregnancy.  I'm 5'2 and was 117lbs pre-pregnancy.  Day I gave birth (39wks 1 day according to their calcs, but she was born on the day I calculated so 40wks) I weighed in at 144lbs, so a 27lb gain.  The did a quickie scan in hospital, told me at max I was having a 6lb baby (the nurses didn't even believe I was pregnant upon check in, never mind in labor) - she popped out at 7lb 5oz.  It's amazing how they find ways to hid inside of you ;-)  Pretty sure I had a few cracked ribs to prove that theory!

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#12 of 14 Old 09-06-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post

I wouldn't put too much faith on those ultrasounds. 
I agree! I had a late ultrasound that estimated the birthweight under by 2.5 lbs. They are very subjective. Also agreed that you are small so probably normal for baby anyway!smile.gif
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#13 of 14 Old 09-07-2013, 07:52 AM
 
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The hospital that I took a tour of, but didn't use (we had a homebirth) had a birthplan you could fill out ahead of time.  See if your hospital has something like that.  Are you using a doula?  Would you consider one?  You are likely to get some pushback on the vaccination and vit. K shot, among other things, and a doula who knew your wishes and wasn't as emotionally involved and you and your DH could be a powerful force for advocating for what you want.  Sorry if I'm repeating what has already been said.  I didn't have a chance to read the whole thread as I'm typing quickly before DS wakes up.

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#14 of 14 Old 09-08-2013, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, not using a doula. I wouldn't really be apposed to one, but I don't really feel like bring someone new in this close to my due date {Oct 13} I think between my husband, my mother and my self we will do alright.

I originally wanted to do a homebirth. But DH found that idea a bit overwhelming, and I need him to be comfortable to help me be comfortable. I have known from the start that he has more concerns and fears then me. I love him and am not going to push him. We did recently find out that some of our friends were all born at home, and they know an RN who keeps a birthing kit on hand. So when we are ready for baby #2 that's the rout we are going to go.

I really don't want to go to the hospital until I have to, so I haven't even asked about a tour or anything.

 

Yeah, I mite not have much extra but it's all baby. It's funny because my husband knows how insecure it makes me feel when people talk about how little I am for being pregnant, so he goes out of his way to point out how big my belly has gotten when we are alone. And he does it with this lovingly proud smile.

And all my blood work came back normal.


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