Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Given to Newborns at the Hospital, I was clueless...

I recently found out some information about tests and medicines given to newborns at the hospitals that I had never heard off.  I am actually embarassed to admit that I am finding this out after my fourth child.  However, I figured, if this is the first time I hear of it, maybe other moms out there have not been informed either. 

I was shocked to learn that after three pregnancies, I was never told by an OB, a pediatrician or a nurse that my newborn was given a large dose of vitamin K at birth and Erythromycin, an eye antibiotic.  I knew that newborns underwent several tests, but I thought they only consisted of drawing blood, and hearing tests.  An injection of vitamin K (1.0 mg) is given to all newborns to prevent unexpected bleeding caused by low levels of vitamin K-dependent blood clotting factors.  About 1 in 10,000 babies will suffer from the syndrome of vitamin K deficiency bleeding.  The extra vitamin K can be very beneficial for these babies, but as with everything, there are also possible dangerous side effects. 
The other treatment given to your newborn is an eye antibiotic called Erythromycin.  It is given to prevent the infection of sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea and chlamydia from mother to child.  In order to prevent babies for being infected, states have decided to administer it to all babies. 

These treatments are optional in many states.  I am not saying in any way that you should opt-out of giving these to your babies, but I know I would have liked to be aware of my choices, and of what was given to my children. 

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