Eye drops & Vitamin K

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momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525
Eye drops & Vitamin K

Do any of you have any info to share, opinions, or links about eye drops or Vit K for baby at birth?

I can ask my midwife questions about them, but she made it clear that regardless of how she feels about it personally, she wants each family to come to their own decision. With my other babies, I just went ahead with all the standard newborn things, without even questioning it. Now the more I read, the more irritated I get with all the unnecessary things being done as "standard procedure". Anything you can offer to help me make an informed decision is greatly appreciated!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Our BC had the option of waiting and seeing how the birth goes on the Vitamin K--it only makes sense to get it if the birth is traumatic in some way, because a Vitamin K deficiency can affect blood clotting (extremely rare, but possible). Since our birth was normal, we declined.

Same with the eye drops. If you are confident that you don't have chlamydia or gonnorhea or any other STDs that could potentially cause a serious eye infection in the baby, then you can skip it and feel good about it.

Both are of the "given to all to protect the few" intervention variety.

I can recommend a really good book that covers pretty much all of this, with the medical stats, etc. :http://www.amazon.com/Gentle-Birth-Mothering-Childbirth-Parenting/dp/1587613220/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342808704&sr=8-1&keywords=gentle+birth%2C+gentle+mothering

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

Our homebirth midwives also advocated a "wait and see" approach for both of those things. With Weston, we declined both of them. With Tiven, both the Vitamin K and eye drops were given to her -- against our expressed refusal -- because it's such a routine part of their post-birth process. I'd been put to sleep for the c-secton and DH wasn't allowed in the O.R. so neither of us was able to prevent it. However, given the traumatic circumstances of her birth, both of those things were prudent. She had a lot of meconium, it was reportedly all over her face, so we even let them give her a second dose of the eye drops the next day.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I gave birth at the same BC as Leigh, so we were given the same freedom to choose. I came to the same conclusion as Leigh but DH was scared about not giving her Vit K because he'd read about how it might help to stem internal bleeding that may go unnoticed. Her birth wasn't traumatic and I was comfortable not giving it to her at all but he insisted so we compromised and gave her the oral doses. I even "forgot" to give her the final dose. Oral is an option if you have a compounding pharmacy nearby that can make it up. It isn't taken up as readily as the injection. My main concern was that my birth process and her first few days remained pristine and med free. I got that and was happy with our choice. I'll probably urge DH to forgo it next time because getting it was a pain.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

We did vit K since DS was born via c/s after an induced labor and was circumcised. We were forced to do the eye goop because of TX law. This time my hope is to pass on both since hopefully baby girl will be a nice calm, perfect VBAC and I have zero reason to agree to the eye goop. Like others have said, it's good that these are options for those that need them but not every baby needs these.

momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525

Thank you for all the input! At this point we are going with the wait and see approach.
My birth center has the Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering book in their library, but it was checked out yesterday. I'm going to keep watching for it though. Thanks Leigh for that recommendation!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

You're very welcome!