Never has your informed opinion mattered more than when it comes to your newborn! This is your baby and you have a say in what happens to both you and your baby during labor, delivery, and in the hours/days after birth. There are some standard procedures that happen in the hospital that have been practiced for years and most new parents really don’t give it much thought. But looking closely, you have to ask if they are necessary. My only regret is why I didn’t research this before I had my children. Remember we aren’t here to give you medical advice but share with you what we have found in our research of these common procedures.

Is the Eye Ointment Necessary?

I remember when they handed me my babies in the hospital they had so much goupy stuff on their eyes that they could barely open them. Well that is called erythromycin ophthalmic ointment and it’s used to protect babies from an infection. Although this type of infection that they are treating them for is only caused by a mother with chlamydia or gonorrhea. So if you know or have been tested and there is no risk of either chlamydia or gonorrhea then your baby does not need this ointment! You can request that your newborn does not receive this procedure.
Learn more at our Newborn Care Class.

Shots and Vaccines

The two common shots and vaccines given to a newborn are the vitamin K shot and the Hepatitis B vaccine. So let’s first talk about the vitamin K shot. Babies are usually born with a lowered level of vitamin K which means that your blood does not clot as normal.

But it’s interesting to note that a newborn’s natural prothrombin levels reach normal levels between days 5 and 7, peaking around the eighth day of life, related to the buildup of bacteria in baby’s digestive tract to produce the vitamin K that is necessary to form this clotting factor. Day 8 is said to be the only time in a baby’s life when his prothrombin level will naturally exceed 100 percent of normal. Many believe that giving your newborn vitamin K is necessary and you can request that an oral dose be given that is just as effective and safe for your baby as a painful shot.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is needed for sexually transmitted or blood transmitted disease. So my question was what are the chances that your newborn will have a sexually transmitted disease or any other blood transmitted disease? Pretty much zero chance and the side effects of the Hepatitis B vaccine has been shown in many peer-reviewed research papers to be associated with numerous infant deaths in the U.S. and Europe, multiple sclerosis and numerous chronic autoimmune disorders. You can request that your newborn does not receive this routine vaccination!
Learn more at our Newborn Care Class.

Baby’s First Bath

Babies are born with a protective covering on their skin called vernix that is very beneficial to the baby. Examples include immune boosting properties as well as providing protection and hydration for a new baby’s skin. Hospital staff usually gives your baby their first bath within the first few hours of birth. Instead waiting 24 hours will allow the vernix to absorb into the baby’s skin. If you feel that it’s best to bath your baby, you can request that it be done in your room and use the safe and natural soap that you can bring with you. We also offer Childbirth Classes.

Have Baby Stay With You

The hours after the birth of your newborn can be overwhelming and it’s important that you and your partner know exactly what you want before the delivery. Informing your doctor and hospital staff your preferences to your birth plan is utmost important. Another way to control what procedures are done or not done is to keep the baby with you. You can request that. If baby needs to go to the hospital nursery, your partner can accompany your baby and make sure the staff is doing exactly as you requested.

Remember that this is your baby and don’t feel as if you are trying to be difficult (some hospital staff has a way to make you feel this way)! Researching the standard procedures and hospital policies while pregnant will help you make the most informed decisions for your newborn and provide you the birthing plan of your choice.