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Antibiotic Eye Ointment

Antibiotic eye ointment is routinely applied to the baby’s eyes upon birth to combat and prevent eye infections commonly caused by gonorrhea or clamidyia.  This procedure is routine, even for mothers who have negative STD testing.  While the eyes are very sensitive, especially at birth, the necessity for this procedure is highly questionable, especially for low risk moms who have no history of STDs.

PKU/Other Blood Testing

Many hospitals will also do a heel prick to test the baby’s blood for a number of metabolic disorders, including PKU.  Many of the disorders tested for are treatable and if caught at an early age can mean the difference between lifelong health problems, or generally normal development.  The necessity of these tests is debated, especially for babies born to mothers with low risk factors, or those who have already had genetic testing.  For more information about this, it is best to discuss what testing is done with your provider in an effort to make a decision about whether or not you feel this is necessary for you. 

Additional practices are:

  • Suctioning Of Baby After Birth: When baby comes out of the womb it is common practice to help the baby breathe for the first time by suctioning the mouth but this has some debate around it. Read more
  • Placement of Baby Immediately After Birth - Many hospitals have different protocols for where baby should be placed immediately after birth for follow up exams and testing. Read more
  • Cord Clamping, Pulsing and Cutting: It is routine for most hospitals to immediately clamp the cord upon delivery. Read More
  • Vitamin K Injection: Vitamin K injections are routinely given to newborns to prevent the rare risk of bleeding in the brain due to a newborn’s low vitamin K levels.  Read more



Published in Newborn Care

You can chose to do or not do this soon after it is born (within a week), within a few months after it is born, or only when necessary.  However, it may be necessary for a birth certificate so check with your registry to cover your bases.

If CPS becomes an issue, often they just want the baby to see a pediatrician to ensure it is receiving "proper medical care."  So it might be a good idea to get a newborn checkup just to have that under your belt.

Here is the story my unassisted birth with my twin girls.


Go back to Step #14: Deciding Whether to Make the Trip to the Hospital

Go to Birthing Methods Menu

Published in Newborn Health

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