Sunday, January 10, 2010

will you do eye treatment for your newborn?

last week i mentioned several things that you may want to consider before you give birth (aka have a birth plan).  one of them was eye treatment of your new born baby in the hospital.  silver nitrate or erythromycin ointment are the 2 common treatments given to babies to avoid conjunctivitis or eye infections.  these solutions are highly recommended for mothers who have chlamydia or gonorrhea as the bacteria from those can be picked up in the birth canal and cause serious problems.

if you do not have chlamydia or gonorrhea---get checked during one of your prenatal visits to be sure---you may consider doing no treatment.  we discussed this with our pediatrician, and he told us that as far back as the 70's, his pediatric books said acceptable eye treatment was silver nitrate, erythromycin, or nothing.  each was equally weighted for babies of healthy mothers.  he also mentioned that during his residency, he put erythromycin ointment in his eye to see what it would feel like for a baby, and it stung and was blurry for about 45 minutes.

in the end, we decided to do as close to nothing as possible "to" our baby after he came out.  i sort of felt like i killed myself to have a really natural pregnancy and homebirth and so really wanted the baby to have an as peaceful as possible existence after arrival.

this is something that you should read more about if you are on the fence, but please know that it is totally your choice as to whether or not your precious new baby is treated or not....

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