NY mamas: Refusing the eye ointment and the vitamin K - is it possible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone here ever been able to successfully do this?

I'm planning a home birth and I think I've found a way around it there, but I'm a risk for PE because of pre-existing hypertension so if I end up having to transfer to the hospital (I have an awesome OB/GYN who is also watching me through my pregnancy) then I want to be prepared because who knows how I'll feel after the birth, you know.

I'm a lawyer so I'm fully prepared to fight, but I thought that asking you guys first would be a good idea. So:

Has anyone here ever successfully refused the erythromycin eye ointment and/or the vitamin K? If so, how'd you do it?
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#2 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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DS didn't have it and we had a home birth, not all midwives don't do it, but we had a very *lenient* one shall we say? We did give DS some oral vit K because we had it from another friend who had a home birth.

I've never heard of successfully not getting it in the hospital. We're now planning another HB w/a different midwife and she won't not do it, but she doesn't care if we wipe it off right away, which is what I think most people do in hospitals when they don't want it.

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#3 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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Here's a link I found w/some more information:
http://ffitz.com/nyvic/law/vitamin-k.htm

Baby wearing Mamma to DS, dealing with all his allergies....and thriving w/another little bundle due in Early Feb
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#4 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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I've heard several moms who have had homebirths and didn't do it, but not the same in the hospital.

I'm delivering with a m/w in the hospital and from everything I have researched it doesn't seem to be an option to refuse it there. I am looking for a lawyer with experience in this area to see if there is a way to get around it. I'm allergic to erythromycin and I was still told that it is not possible.

Erica
DD September 2010, m/c October 2009
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#5 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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At home, it's possible. Only you and the midwife there.

I've never heard of successfully avoiding it at the hospital. I've heard numerous stories of CPS being called. The law is clear, there are no exceptions, and if there's ever been a successful legal challenge I've never heard of it.

faeriecurls: It should be possible to have another antibiotic administered. The law reads: "an agent effective for preventing purulent conjunctivitis of the newborn, such as tetracycline or erythromycin eye preparation or a one percent solution of nitrate of silver." But there's no way to get out of it altogether.

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#6 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrforbes View Post
DS didn't have it and we had a home birth, not all midwives don't do it, but we had a very *lenient* one shall we say? We did give DS some oral vit K because we had it from another friend who had a home birth.
Yeah, "lenient" is the word I'd use to describe my MW.

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Originally Posted by mrforbes View Post
Here's a link I found w/some more information:
http://ffitz.com/nyvic/law/vitamin-k.htm
Thanks. I'll be sure to check it out.

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Originally Posted by faeriecurls View Post
I've heard several moms who have had homebirths and didn't do it, but not the same in the hospital.
That's what I've been hearing, too.

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Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post
I've never heard of successfully avoiding it at the hospital. I've heard numerous stories of CPS being called. The law is clear, there are no exceptions, and if there's ever been a successful legal challenge I've never heard of it.
Of course, best case senario is that I get the home birth I so despartely want. I don't plan on heading to the hospital just to be a "test case," so the speak but if it turns out that I need to be there I won't back down - I have always liked a challenge. We'll see come January, I guess.

I suppose it's easier for me to say that than it might be for other's: I'm a lawyer, I have several friends who are as well so I both like a fight and I am not afraid of a fight. I used to be an ADA in Manhattan county, actually, and a lot of my cases involved children so I dealt with CPS a lot - personal experience, so I seemed to get labeled as the "kid lady."

Like I said, we'll see in January.

Thanks for the replies everyone!
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#7 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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faeriecurls: It should be possible to have another antibiotic administered. The law reads: "an agent effective for preventing purulent conjunctivitis of the newborn, such as tetracycline or erythromycin eye preparation or a one percent solution of nitrate of silver." But there's no way to get out of it altogether.
I know that there are other antibiotics, but according to my m/w they are worse for the baby - ugh, sometimes I really hate NY.

Erica
DD September 2010, m/c October 2009
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#8 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I know that there are other antibiotics, but according to my m/w they are worse for the baby - ugh, sometimes I really hate NY.
I love New York, but this thing just drives me nuts. Why in the world are we the only state that requires this?
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#9 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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I wasnt able to successfully deny it, but I've heard of some moms being able to because of something with "informed consent." I think the law basically says that you will be told of the medical treatment beforehand and can refuse it. Not sure if that law can trump the eye drop/vitamin K one or not. (But I figure that since you're a lawyer, maybe you could figure it out or maybe the hospital wouldn't mess with you?)
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#10 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I wasnt able to successfully deny it, but I've heard of some moms being able to because of something with "informed consent." I think the law basically says that you will be told of the medical treatment beforehand and can refuse it. Not sure if that law can trump the eye drop/vitamin K one or not. (But I figure that since you're a lawyer, maybe you could figure it out or maybe the hospital wouldn't mess with you?)
Informed consent won't work in New York because the eye ointment and the vitamin K are mandated by state regulation.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 07:33 AM
 
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I love New York, but this thing just drives me nuts. Why in the world are we the only state that requires this?
Yeah, I usually love NY and always say I don't want to leave the city, but these things and the vax laws really make me want to leave. I just want to be able to make choices regarding my child and what is put into her body.

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I wasnt able to successfully deny it, but I've heard of some moms being able to because of something with "informed consent." I think the law basically says that you will be told of the medical treatment beforehand and can refuse it. Not sure if that law can trump the eye drop/vitamin K one or not. (But I figure that since you're a lawyer, maybe you could figure it out or maybe the hospital wouldn't mess with you?)
I had considered the informed consent thing early on, but if you look at it closer you will find that won't work. The link that mforbes posted has that info.

Erica
DD September 2010, m/c October 2009
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#12 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I am doing a hospital birth and I have a known allergy to erthromycin. So what if my newborn inherits my allergy???!!!!
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#13 of 22 Old 07-03-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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I am doing a hospital birth and I have a known allergy to erthromycin. So what if my newborn inherits my allergy???!!!!
I'm allergic too - so far I have not had much luck with the hospital (my m/w talked with one of the senior pediatric attendings) and am now searching for a lawyer that has experience in this area. The attending was actually more worried about me having a reaction than the baby, but I am worried about the baby.

Erica
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#14 of 22 Old 07-03-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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I don't there is away around the vit k and eye drops in a hospital. CPS can and has been called. They take temporary custody of the child long enough to do the procedures and then usually you get custody back. But then you have a record with ACS.

Most homebirth midwives in NYC however will let you skip it them. I asked a few of when I was pregnant the first time and it did not seem to be a problem.

I had pre-e with DD also and it was pretty much understood that the only thing we could fight in the hospital (would've been St. Vincent's) was the Hep. B. Fortunately, I was able to have DD at home. I hope things work out for you and you get your homebirth also.

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#15 of 22 Old 07-07-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Not sure if this will help, but you said you have high blood pressure, right? I had had some weird high blood pressure for years, even when pregnant with DS (I did a UC HB, and stopped going to prenatal visits at around 32 weeks), but I later read that high blood pressure can be caused by eating partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (especially corn, soybean, canola, peanut). We had to change our diet radically due to health problems (RA, tooth decay, heart weirdness, etc) and I noticed that since we cut out those nasty vegetable oils, as well as refined salt (the refined salt can cause hypertension, as the stuff they add to it to keep it from clumping together also won't mix with your bodily fluids). We now use cold pressed olive oils, butter, coconut oil (it's actually good for you), lard, etc instead. And after nixing the vegetable oils, I stopped getting weird high blood pressure. Not sure how long it took, but I'm sure it can't hurt. I got the info from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, she also is president of the Weston A Price Foundation, an excellent organization. That book saved my health.

Good luck with everything! I can't believe that NY forces everyone to get those, oh wait, yes I can.

Circ doesn't work! Stop the violence of circumcison. Had another UP/UC/HB in August!
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#16 of 22 Old 08-20-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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i don't know if it's different in the city, but i live a little upstate and declined both the vitamin k and the eye drops. i signed a piece of paper, and they (more or less) left us alone about it. i had the baby at a hospital "birth center."

and a friend just had a homebirth a couple weeks ago and didn't get them either.

good luck!
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#17 of 22 Old 08-21-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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It is facility specific. I'm an L&D RN and up until a few months ago, the hospital I work in stood staunchly behind the mandate. We now offer parents the right to refuse (just like with hepB newborn injection).

Check with the place you'll be delivering. And really, if all they do is report you to CPS, so what? I've been reported 3 times and (of course) the case has always been unfounded.

Know your facts and stand your ground
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#18 of 22 Old 08-21-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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red + lulu, where did you birth?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#19 of 22 Old 08-21-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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It is facility specific. I'm an L&D RN and up until a few months ago, the hospital I work in stood staunchly behind the mandate. We now offer parents the right to refuse (just like with hepB newborn injection).

Check with the place you'll be delivering. And really, if all they do is report you to CPS, so what? I've been reported 3 times and (of course) the case has always been unfounded.

Know your facts and stand your ground
Where do you work (you can PM me if you don't want to say in the thread)? I'm delivering in a hospital in NYC and it's pretty much toe the line there.

I can't really be reported to CPS - it am a teacher and it would jeopardize my job.

Erica
DD September 2010, m/c October 2009
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#20 of 22 Old 08-22-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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Where do you work (you can PM me if you don't want to say in the thread)? I'm delivering in a hospital in NYC and it's pretty much toe the line there.

I can't really be reported to CPS - it am a teacher and it would jeopardize my job.
I work upstate, at a hospital in the city of Poughkeepsie. The law reads that the facility can report you and that it can't be held in any way liable if they give the meds without your consent. Just refuse and have your arguments at the ready!

My third baby was born at home before the hospital where I worked changed their policy. CPS was called, I educated the caller a bit, and that was that.
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#21 of 22 Old 08-26-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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red + lulu, where did you birth?
neugarten at northern dutchess in rhinebeck
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#22 of 22 Old 10-19-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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Anyone have any updated info on this?  I'm due in January, living in Syracuse NY, and a for a number of reasons am planning a hospital birth at Crouse.  I'd really like to refuse the eye ointment and Hep B and possibly the Vitamin K (I'm still on the fence on this one and plan to allow it if the birth is at all traumatic).  It seems really backward to me that we cannot refuse interventions in this state, not by the choice of the provider or hospital, but by a state law.

 

Thanks!


Susan, mama to Catherine (June 2008); Becca (April 2010); John (January 2012); and Julia (EDD August 2013)
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