Call me a skeptic, jaded, cynical…I think the medical field is full of unnecessary treatments that are driven more by insurance companies then by what is necessarily in our best interest.Don’t get me wrong, modern medicine can be and is wonderful when accessed and provided appropriately.However, somewhere along the line, we’ve turned into a pill popping, there’s a diagnosis for everything culture.
My point in all of this is that in a few short weeks I will be giving birth to my first child.Within the first 24 hours of my newly born child’s life, there are a lot of “routine” medical tests and procedures that occur.Certain obvious things are necessary and make sense to me, such as suctioning the baby’s nostrils out, clamping the cord & cutting it, performing the APGAR testing, vital & weight checks, cleaning up the baby, ect.However, there are 3 things that I’m not so sure of and have received mixed information on when it comes to “medicine” that is given.Shortly after my child is born, it is standard procedure to put erythromycin cream in the eyes to treat for any bacteria that may have been transferred from the vagina, especially STDs.The baby also receives a Vitamin K injection to prevent unexpected bleeding that can be caused by low levels of the vitamin that helps with clotting.Lastly, the baby is usually given its first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccination on its 2nd day of life.
I’m one to question everything and my maternal instincts are kicking in.I want to know re: the 3 mentioned treatments are they truly necessary?The answers I have received to my questions have varied from OB to midwife to doula to friend to what I’ve read.I have decided that I will delay the Hepatitis B injection until the first appointment with my pediatrician, which is perfectly normal to do.However, I’m not sure what to do with the erythromycin or Vitamin K.My concern is that I do not want give my newborn child treatments that are not necessary, but I also do not want to not give something that could be needed.Did I mention I don’t trust “standard procedures?”I know I do not have any STDS and as a result there is a very low risk for any type of damaging bacterial eye infection for my child. So should I still allow the erythromycin ointment?I eat LOTS of strawberries which are packed with Vitamin K (I really like them, they’re one of my “cravings”) and am going to breastfeed.Babies do build up Vitamin K levels with the initial colostrum milk from their mother and in the following weeks.Is the Vitamin K necessary?
So what do you think?If you are a parent, what did you do?