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You Want to Stick that in my Baby Where!? Informed Consent in Newborn Procedures

faith September 24, 2012

So, embarrassing confession time:

With my first son, I didn’t explore my options, I didn’t research, and I trusted that if I want to have a natural, unmedicated birth all I would have to do is tell the medical staff and they would all smile and be proud of me. It was going to be a beautiful, bright-hospital-lights-on-my-crotch-in-my-open-in-the-back-hospital-gown-knees-in-my-throat-bland-walls kind of moment during which I was going to look like a GODDESS!

Pausing for the appropriate amount of laughter…

yeah… so maybe not so much a ‘goddess’

Hi, my name is Jaime, and I am guilty of being a poorly informed patient.

I’ll save that story for another post, though. Because, what’s worse is that although I knew I wanted this natural and unmedicated birth experience, it never even occurred to me that I should care what would happen to the baby afterwards.

Certainly you’ve seen the shows – Crazy delivery room scene, baby whisked away to a warmer, wrapped up like a little sausage and kept in the nursery so mom can ‘get some rest’. They paint a scary scene where if they don’t do ‘stuff’ to baby, nothing will be ok. And even worse, giving birth is going to be so hard that it’s better you just don’t have baby at all. In fact, they’ll schedule your feedings for you. For your convenience.

Image by: http://crunchynurse.blogspot.com/2010/05/from-nurse-to-gentle-birth-advocate.html

There are so many factors that will determine what procedures are standard – the state in which you live, the location you choose to give birth, the type of care provider you choose. But, ultimately, no matter what, the care you and your baby receive should be a choice. Here’s a list of procedures that are pretty common in newborn care, and what you should know about them.

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Cord Clamping:

So, obviously at some point the baby is going to become detached from the placenta. But, did you know that it doesn’t have to be the immediately after birth?

When you cut a baby’s umbilical cord in the moments just after birth, you are cutting of up to ONE THIRD of its blood supply.

That’s right. ONE. THIRD!

Image by: http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/?p=1542

Of course baby will begin to eventually produce more blood to make it up, but in those first moments of life, after immediate loss of its lifeline, baby is likely to appear distressed and not well, which could lead a whole other string of interventions. Penny Simkin has a great visual representation of this.

Some also choose a Lotus Birth in which the cord is kept intact until it naturally separates from the placenta over the course of many days.

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Eye Prophylaxis:

The eye ointment is to help prevent eye infections and conjunctivitis that can cause blindness after birth. Thing is, the bacteria that causes the blinding infections are from chlamydia and gonorrhea. As for other, less serious forms of conjunctivitis, you know is a really great treatment? Breast milk.

Image by: ourmuddyboots.com

Additionally, the bacteria that causes these infections are also transmitted through the vaginal canal, so use after a csection is highly debatable. If you are in a high risk group for STDs, or if you are unsure if you have an STD, it’s always safest to get tested.

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Hepatitis B Vaccine:

Babies at the greatest risk for Hepatitis B are those with mothers who have the disease.  Although the CDC considers the HepB Vaccine to be relatively safe, in recent years, a lot of criticism has surfaced about adverse reactions to the vaccine.

According the CDC Fact Sheet, the risk group for Hepatitis B is those who often come in contact with bodily fluids, including those working in the medical community, those with immuno-deficiency disorders, people who do not practice safe sex, and those who are intravenous drug users. In other words, unless you, the parent falls into one of these categories, your baby is not likely to be considered at risk.

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Vitamin K Shot:

Vitamin K is a naturally occuring vitamin in humans that helps the blood to clot. Most newborns are born with insufficient levels of Vitamin K, but only a small percentage are born with levels so low that they are considered to have Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn(HDN). This affects approximately .25-1.7% of newborns and there are specific factors to babies who are at high risk of being in trouble.

Without these specific risk factors present, it is debatable whether or not babies should be given the injection. For babies with normally low levels of Vitamin K, breastfeeding mothers can make sure that they are eating a healthy diet full of leafy greens and feeding on demand to ensure baby gets all the Vitamin K it needs.

Ultimately, if you are concerned about your baby’s Vitamin K levels, but are wary of giving your fresh new baby a shot, there is an oral alternative that is also highly effective.

Note from Kate: There is also some research to show that babies whose cords are not cut and clamped until after they have stopped pulsing are not actually deficient in vitamin K.  The original “babies are deficient” research was done in the 1950s, when moms were put under twilight sleep, had their babies forcibly dragged out, and the cords cut immediately.  Due to the highly interventive nature of this birth, and the trauma and drugs given, the babies were at much higher risk of hemorrhage.  However, most new research shows that babies who are born under typical circumstances — even those with minor trauma, such as lengthy pushing or use of forceps — will do fine if the cord is left intact.

The shot itself also has been linked to childhood leukemia and other issues, because it contains such a massive dose and other additives.  There are oral vit K preparations available if it is decided that baby really needs something.  However, mom using alfalfa tea or supplements or eating lots of leafy greens in the final weeks of pregnancy usually ensures that baby will be fine.

http://www.rawplus.com/vitamin_k.html

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APGAR Screening:

Immediately following birth and five minutes after birth, babies are given an APGAR test, as well as several observational tests to ensure baby’s joints are ok, and there are no abnormalities of major organs. These are not interventative, and can be done in a gentle manner, and mom can request to have these tests done by her side, or with baby on her chest or at the breast.

Apgar_Newborn_Scoring_Chart

Caregivers will perform several other observational tests to ensure the baby is measuring in a certain and healthy range. Additionally, they will make sure that the baby doesn’t have any dislocated joints or abnormalities of any major organs.

Again, there is no reason that any of these things cannot be done while the baby is immediately around the mother. Also, if there are any observations that cause alarm for the doctors, it is your right to know and understand those concerns before treatment is administered.

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Heel Stick Test:

The March of Dimes recommends babies be tested for about 29 metabolic and genetic disorders. The heel stick test is a slight puncture in your baby’s heel to draw blood for analysis of these diseases.

Research these diseases and know if you are at risk for some of these through family history. Here is a great, in depth resource for the disorders. If you feel like it is in your best interest to have the heel stick done, baby can always be at the breast to ensure better soothing than if he were on a warmer. After all, mama is a baby’s best warming pad!

Note from Kate: This test is usually known as the PKU test.  If PKU is not caught early it can lead to mental retardation and death.  If it is, a special diet can be chosen and the baby can thrive.  It is very, very rare.  This test is best performed when baby is 3 – 4 days old in a pediatrician’s office because it is more accurate once baby has begun receiving breastmilk instead of just colostrum.  This is why hospitals will not do it until the baby is a full 24 hours old.  If you opt for a home birth, a visiting nurse may come to your home when baby is a few days old to perform the test.

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Circumcision:

Perhaps one of the most highly divisive of all the newborn procedures, circumcision has vehement advocates on both sides of the issue, but trends are showing it is on the decline.

In 1999 the American Association of Pediatrics released a statement explaining that the research available that demonstrates the potential benefits of circumcision is not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision, reaffirming their position in 2005. The American Medical Association backed the AAP’s stance. In 2007, both the American Academy of Family Pediatrics and the American Urological Association released statements saying that there are risks with circumcision and an intact penis, and parents should be well informed of these as well as be the decision makers.

Note from Kate: Recently, the AAP came out to actually recommend neonatal circumcision.  This is not a position that Modern Alternative Pregnancy shares.  We do not feel that the evidence is sufficient to recommend circumcision for medical reasons, and do not believe that it should be considered by all parents.  Please do your own extensive research into this procedure before agreeing to it, and consider waiting until the baby is 8 days old, at which time newborns better handle the procedure.  However, know that complications from circumcision kill about 100 babies per year, and that many more end up with infections, regrowth of the foreskin, and other complications.  This is a cosmetic procedure that needs to be very carefully weighed.  There is also the issue, for many parents, of “his body, his choice” — the idea that the infant ought to have some say in whether his body is unnecessarily surgically altered.  There are various religious reasons for this decision too.  It is not one to take lightly.

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I know – it’s overwhelming and there are a lot of decisions to be made about the care you and your baby receive! If you don’t feel like you can navigate the choices and options on your own, hiring a doula can be the best tool to help you make informed decisions about your care. 

Did you face resistance when it came to your newborn’s care? Did you feel equipped with the tools to make informed decisions?


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128 Comments

  1. I regret hugely not being an informed patient with my first & second, especially since I was forced into a c-section because the baby was breech. I walked to the OR with no mess & was later informed when they began the “emergency” c-section because the spinal caused my blood pressure to crash. ( my husband was not allowed in the OR until they were removing my daughter because it took that long to stablize my pressure. They also later informed me that while I was walking to the OR my daughter was crowning breech! I had a very very easy delivery with my first and I know I could have safety delivered my daughter breech, especially since she was frank breach, butt first. I was very upset when I discovered I had been bullied into a c-section.

    I switched OB’s and with my son my ob was very supportive about waiting until I went into labor and delivering 100% natural v-bac at our “banned hospital.” however my son was very high risk and at 37 weeks they discovered I had NO amniotic fluid and had to be induced. In such a situation a vbac at my hospital of choice was not an option & we would have had to drive 2 hrs to a hospital that allowed it, so I went with a repeat c-section. But that was my informed choice this time! I also was very glad I was informed on the tests too! The only one we allowed the hospital to perform was the PKU and only b/c I couldn’t convince my husband it was unnecessary. In retrospect I feel so much happier with my sons birth than my first two, because I felt I was in control instead of the hospital. Also, I would not enter the OR until the staff allowed my husband to walk in with me! He sat with me thru 2 (yes two spinals!) the first one didn’t work & neither did the second they had to use an alternative drug! Lol I was beyond happy to have my husband in the OR as he was the only one who believed me when I said the first two hadn’t worked! But that’s another story. Lol

    Ps sorry for any misspellings and grammar issues. Typing on my phone. 🙂

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  2. I believe the APGAR score actually consists of five, not four, factors. I raise the issue because I know you want to present the most accurate information available.

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  3. Just fyi–the AAP did NOT change their official stance in favor of circumcision. They did note that there are ‘benefits’ that outweigh possible ‘risks’ (debatable, of course), but that any benefits are *not significant enough to recommend routine infant circumcision*. Basically, they still encourage parents to look into it and make their own choice.

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  4. Informed or not, you can still get bullied… And there’s the fact that in NY State you cannot decline eye prophylaxis OR Vitamin K. I was able to decline the Hep B, but declining the other two would’ve had CPS called on me (and potentially my baby taken away).

    Anyway, a very informed birth this last time around, but I still got bullied into delivering in a position I didn’t want (on my side instead of squatting), I got bullied into managed 3rd stage (after many discussions with the midwife, she still did it). It took me a while to allow myself to hurt this time around because I felt I *should* feel better about it… Anyway, in the end, we have to accept our births and move on and love on our children. Do your best and forget the rest. 🙂

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  5. Do you have any more information on the link between delayed cord cutting and vitamin K levels? I’d never heard about this before, but it does make total sense. I’d love to read those studies if you happen to have a link or a citation you could provide to point me in the right direction.

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  6. My midwife has done extensive research into newborn procedures and strongly encourages parents to do their own and make their own informed decision. We followed her recommendations for many procedures, but others we differed on and she respected our decision.

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  7. Great, great, great post! I am a child birth educator and we talk in great lengths about these procedures in class! I will be sharing this with all my families from now on!

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  8. I have had 3 babies born at home. I appreciate this information very much. If blood needs to be taken. Only allow it from the cord, not by pricking the babies heel. Not necessary. Thank you for informing that the cord need not and should not be cut until it turns white, which means all the blood has gone to the baby. It’s almost funny in movies when an emergency childbirth happens, everyone just panics at the thought of not cutting the cord immediately! I remember one of our childbirth class teachers, said “hey, they could drag it around with them all their life if they want”!

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  9. Anyone who decides against what you called the “heel poke” test is a fool! Yes, that may seem harsh but my daughter has PKU. Neither my husband nor myself have been able to find anything in our family histories to indicate that it was present but it is. I love my daughter and other than her special diet she s no different from any of her friends. Had we opted out of the test and not found out, our daughter would most likely now be severely be mentally retarded. Why would you not want to save your child from that if possible?!

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  10. Just an FYI, it is actually not recommended to wait to circumcise 8 days after birth, and many doctors won’t do it then. Doctors will either circumcise a boy within 48 hours of birth (when no stitches or anesthesia are needed), or they wait until the child is approximately 8 months old at which age it’s considered surgery. The reason they wait is because a baby’s skin within 2-3 days of birth is paper thing. After this time, a certain gene is activated which produces a protein that thickens up the baby’s skin. At 8 days old, the skin is too thick for a circumcision without stitches, but the child is still too young for anesthesia. After that initial 48-72 hour window, circumcision becomes surgery, and doctors now need to wait until the child is almost a year old before they can safely administer anesthesia for the procedure. Because of this reason, it’s recommended to circumcise within a few days of birth. There are less complications involved, and it’s a faster and more painless procedure. There are no OBs around here that will circumcise a week-old baby. It’s just not done.

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  11. I have to disagree with Emily, some OBs WILL circumcise when your baby is weeks old–my son was born 5 weeks early, was in the NICU for 2 weeks and had the procedure done at 6 weeks old in my OB’s office. While I feel HORRIBLE that he had to have it done when he was older (not something that I would normally choose), our circumstances led to that happening. Also, in the same vein, many hospitals REQUIRE that if you’re getting your son circumcised, he must have a Vitamin K shot done for clotting reasons (our state requires it). Check with what your state requires for a hospital birth to be truly informed. You can also ask for the eye ointment, Vitamin K and heel prick to be done after you’ve had some bonding time. And I agree, ALWAYS ask for delayed cord clamping!!

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  12. Emily: If a baby is too young for anesthesia until it is nearly a year old, why do we hear of babies having surgeries, some immediately after birth? Where did you get your info?

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  13. As an RN, I agree you should be informed about what is happening during and after the birth of your child. I have a few issues with this list though. Several states require vitamin K and eye antibiotics, meaning you really don’t have a choice. A heel stick, or PKU, should be be drawn 24 hours after birth and tests for several abnormalities which could otherwise go undiagnosed. Circumcision cannot be preformed without consent from the parents. And the APGAR posted here is not for people.
    Be informed, but get your information from a reliable source. Also know that the doctor and nurses are there to help. If they are doing something you are unhappy with, ask why…but be aware that it might be for the best. Child birth can be dangerous for Mom and baby.

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  14. Good for you for trying to educate yourself. I feel that a lot of your resources are biased, however. A great place to start would be a Maternal Nursing textbook. This resource will explain the procedure, the rationale behind it, and patient teaching. The anti-doctor/anti-medicine/anti-vaccination movement is a dangerous one… Anyone can post anything they want on the internet. It would be wise to ensure that your resources are credible before taking the information offered as gospel. Good luck!

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  15. I am a maternity nurse…. The babies who wait to have their cords cut can have extremely high bilirubin levels…Vitamin K IS NECESSARY! If you can live with your child dying of a brain bleed or be permanently disabled fine don’t give it….Hepatitis B is something I would CONSIDER waiving however I do recommend it… Kids are around each other and get in accidents all the time that can lead to Hepatitis B…. Just saying from my personal experience.

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  16. I tested positive for Step-B bacteria shortly before my daughter was born. Due to this, my daughter’s pediatrician refused to discharge her until she had the Hep-B vaccination. Beyond this I refused everything else.

    I am constantly amazed: #1, how birth is treated as an illness in this country, #2 how the US has the highest cost of delivering a child, #3 how some parents INSIST that you are crazy if you don’t bow down to every demand from your doctor. Medicine constantly changes as more research is done. Doctors are not *required* to keep up with changes nor alter their views/practices in response. Certainly, doctors deserve respect for their knowledge, but everyone on this earth is fallible. Do your own research, weigh the pros and cons. Knowledge is power to do what is right for you and your child.

    One week after my daughter was born, at a “well baby visit,” I was informed that my daughter was not gaining enough weight according to the handy Enfamil chart my daughter’s pediatrician had on hand. The pediatrician threatened that my breastfeeding was simply not cutting it, and my daughter would NEED formula if she didn’t gain enough weight in 24 HOURS. I never went back to that doctor. I learned – quite easily online – that breastfed children grow at a slow and steady rate, while formula fed babies plump up quite quickly due to all of the extra calories added to formula. Did the pediatrician mention this? Why no. Perhaps her doctorate, earned 20+ years ago didn’t mention it.

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  17. I have been a NICU/well baby nurse for 15+years and some procedures are optional, Per state, some are not.
    1. Full explanation of the Lotus birth is really risky. Not clamping the cord can cause an air embolsum or cause the baby to bleed out. To me not worth the risk.
    2. Eye ointment is not an option in my state, check your states regulations. Br milk is best but there are reasons that mom’s can not nurse.
    3. PKU screening does test for 29 metabolic disorders without a correction in a baby’s feedings these disorders can cause death, again not worth the risk.
    4. Circumcision is optional, totally your decision.
    5. Apgar scores are to assess the babies transition to life outside of the womb, so nurses and MD’s know what steps to take next to help your baby.
    6. Lastly, Vit K it is given to babies, is optional in my state, it help prepare the colon to digest the baby’s feedings. When I started in the nursery I always wanted to call the MD for blood results. MAJORITY of times the baby has an excess of blood cells, not a lack of blood as indicated by the writer of this blog. Unless there is a trauma related to the delivery blood levels are normal or higher than normal……
    Please women research your information and sources. By all means ask what has to be done by state regulations.

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  18. I’m a military wife so I’m speaking for base state and home state. Child was born in base state and was required to have a hearing test done and PKU. Failed hearing because the machine was acting up. Week later, yes a week, went to home state. Since I had no record of a PKU performed, child had to undergo the heel stick once more required bylaw of home state. Also had to re do hearing test because the nurses told everyone that day, they should get the hearing test done again at the pediatrician. It is base state law for newborns have to have a hearing test. Home state thought base state was a little crazy.

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  19. OK. I’m just saying that the fact that they used an apgar chart for horses(seriously. It says”foal” right on it) kinda kills their credibility. Come on ladies. By all means do research and be informed. But please don’t listen to a bunch of garbage with a bare minimum of facts from an author who is to dumb to use the right apgar chart. I think we are all smarter than that. When looking for info scholarly publications are your best bet for proven facts

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  20. I would like to encourage parents not to make decisions based out of fear. It is hard, I am a parent and I know I have made choices out of fear of harming my baby or worried that getting my child vaccinated could do her harm. FYI I she is up to date on all her vaccinations but I worry regardless.
    I know some have used to argument that medicine changes all the time so why should we trust their knowledge. But isn’t that the beauty of medicine is that they are always evaluating and looking at themselves and doing things by evidence based medicine. Not saying that the system is flawless, because it isn’t. But try to balance your information with the education and experience of your health professional. It is also important to realize that to gain knowledge and concrete facts, studies have to be conducted, now here is the hard part studies involving pregnant women/infants are hard to control and do because it can be unethical and immoral. (the how much alcohol is too much during pregnancy is a classic example, it can’t be tested)

    1. Delayed Cord Clamping
    It is interesting and I did a quick search and according to WHO and PUBMED. There are pros and cons and how early or late is hard to determine. I know when I delivered, even if I had wanted to delay it wouldn’t have been an option because her cord was wrapped around her neck twice. So, this may be something you want but be flexible because circumstances can take it out of the equation.

    2. Eye Prophylaxis
    Hard one. Many patients lie. Period. So, do you mandate that everyone is required to do this so you don’t discriminate or do you trust the patient and the history that they give. This is hard also because Great Britain doesn’t do prophylactic eye ointment and they have similar numbers as US. (a study done in 2009, which is old for a medical journal, by clinical trials.gov)

    3. Hep B
    You can get this done at anytime in your life and if you end up going into a profession where there is a high risk of coming in contact with blood (medical, police, etc) you can get it done. That being said, a lot of people that have hep b don’t know they have it because they feel fine and are healthy but can still spread it. We did it because both my husband and I are in the medical profession and there is a high risk of coming in contact with someone with hep b and you drag it home with you.

    4. Vit K and Cancer
    According to the blood transfusion journal in 2011. The cancer scare occurred in the early 1990s and two retrospective studies were done one by the US and one by Sweden and both studies found no evidence of that link. You can do oral vit K but there are two types of hemorrhagic bleeding that infants are at risk for, early and late. Oral is less likely to prevent late onset bleeding. All newborns have low vit K because it does not readily cross the placenta.

    5. Unless there was a complication during labor, it is usually done while the mother is holding the baby. I think a lot of labor and delivery teams are aware that mothers want to hold their baby and want to promote bonding. More studies are showing that sooner is better and that is being promoted in hospitals.

    6. PKU test
    It is such a small stick with life saving benefits. Family history is not always reliable because a lot of genetic issues are recessive and may not show for a generation or two. An easy example is sickle cell: you can be two healthy adults and be sickle cell carriers and have a 25% chance of having an affected child. (a picture makes a lot more sense) Also, just a side note: adoption is much more open these days but I still know of people that haven’t found out that they were adopted until late adulthood. I am adopted and it was hard to hide it (I am asian and my parents where white as snow :)) But depending on the family (yours or your spouse) it may not be an open topic.

    7. Circumcision
    Totally your choice as a parent. But if opting not to circumcise make sure you teach good penile hygiene. Its easier to get fungal infections if you don’t clean it properly. And as they get older STDs and HPV etc if good hygiene is not in place.

    One final word, worry this was long winded but we have so much information at our fingertips please use a reliable source. If you don’t want to use a US medical journal a lot of the UK information is available to us. I feel that the links and sources of this blog are more biased than educational. I also get the feeling that you have to be up in arms , almost pitting you/baby against the big bad hospital. You can catch more flies with honey.

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  21. If your are banking the child’s cord blood then do you no longer have the option to delay cord cutting?

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  22. I really feel strongly that encouraging people to refuse the PKU test is dangerous and stupid. (Same for refusing erythromycin and vitamin K. Sure your baby may not need it, but seeing as there are NO side effects to this and it prevents potential harm to your child, why wouldn’t you?) Why on earth would you risk your child’s health that way? I understand seeing your new baby’s foot poked and hearing him cry is hard, but it’s the responsible thing to do. As a parent you have to be strong and do what’s best for your child, even if it’s hard for you. Besides a little bit of pain, there are absolutely NO negative side effects to this! Sheesh, what’s next? Are parents going to start refusing APGAR scoring and hearing screens? It seems some people are just looking for problems that don’t exist.

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  23. As a labor and delivery nurse, I feel hurt when it comes across that those at the hospital are out to hurt everyone. I hate being grouped into s category because i take my job seriously. I feel like I follow evidence based practice.
    Where did you get the study about cord clamping and 1/3 of your blood? I would like to read it

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  24. I’m a stay-at-home Mom with a girl, 6, and a boy, 20 mo. I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made for my kids and don’t think others here should either. I’d just like to say that after I read through this, I think others should know that the things they do to the newborn are meant to provide the best possible outcome. I would encourage others to understand the reasons behind why these things are done, not in relation to them being unnessessary, and therefore declined, but as a safety measure to the infant. Personally, I don’t want my infant to have ANY eye infections or continue to bleed, so I would want my baby treated. I agree with getting the PKU test because it could ruin your child’s life if present and untreated. I also got the Hep B for both my kids. I felt it was best to start protecting them now because you just don’t know what the future holds for your child. I feel I can sleep at night knowing that if my kids come in contact with an infected person, they will be covered on that at least. And before you scoff, please note that while I still worked at the hospital, I saw a good handful of prenatal work ups done on children as young as 10 about once a month.

    Also, I just wanted to say to everyone who felt bullied or lied to about an emergency C, don’t. Just go hug your child and put the unnessessary guilt aside. My sister-in-law refused to be “bullied” into an emergency C-section and lost her son as a result. So please don’t dwell on the past. Just know that the OB’s job is to care for and be an advocate for your baby.

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  25. Does anyone know if blood sugar screening is standard/required for newborns?

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  26. Wow, well if you dont want anything done to your baby then just go have him at home or in a cave! shees you crazy tree hugging people!

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  27. It is so hard for me to understand why people believe things they read on blogs like this. Please get your information from a credible site. Why would you base the care you get for yourself or your child off of someone’s blog and not evidence based research. So foolish.

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  28. […] most popular post ever on Modern Alternative pregnancy is titled, “You Want to Stick that in my Baby Where?! Informed Consent in Newborn Procedures”. As of last night, the post has 58 comments. It is viewed thousands of times every month by many, […]

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  29. Just thought you should know before posting things like this to make sure and do and little more research mainly talking about the clamping of the cord they have to clamp the cord by a certain amount of time it actually shuts a valve in the babies heart so the heart can beat regular

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  30. Thank you for this post. My husband and I had our first baby a few months ago. We declined the eye ointment and Hep B. We were told we’d get a call from CPS and someone came into our room later to talk to us about it. We stuck to our guns because I was not at risk. I passed the group beta strep test and was only ever with my husband. We did our research and learned that the ointment wasn’t necessary. It’s a shame that because of the way the world is, we’re all suppose to be treated the same way. CPS called me the next day, left me a voice mail that they’d call back and neve did. If they would have I would have told them they should be calling the people that do have those diseases who’s kids are at a higher risk that someone who is at zero risk.

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  31. The AAP does NOT recommend routine infant male circumcision. They just think they should still get paid by insurance companies and medicare to perform the surgery. Because they’re a trade organization and they’re in it for the money.
    “Although health bene?ts are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the bene?ts of circumcision are suf?cient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns”

    And the AAP’s latest statement is full of bias.

    Cultural Bias in the AAP

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  32. Parents should speak with their doctor before making any of the decisions posted here. Taking advice from a blogger with no medical training from “research” done via Google is not a great idea. Please speak with someone who has a medical degree before making medical decisions.

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  33. As a Nurse Practitioner and Midwife, I agree with most of this article. It makes me so sad to read some of these comments by women (I’m assuming) who assume every doctor and nurse is looking out for your best interest. Did you know that doctors know nothing about most drugs they prescribe? Other than what is in the brochure or what the pharmaceutical rep tells them. It is foolish to me that anyone would say to “just trust them”. Babies HAVE died from routine procedures in a hospital! Please, do your research (yes that means surf around on google, you CAN find some good stuff starting there) and know what you’re jumping into when you go to the hospital… Or birthing center.

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  34. As a labor and delivery nurse, I’d like to say we are not trying to hurt you or your baby. We have seen the worst. We know that while labor bring pain and joy, it sometime leads to danger. We want you to have the delivery you want. We want you to deliver in hands and knees, reach down and pull your naked screaming baby up to your chest. We also want to push you and your healthy uncompromised baby to your postpartum room. Most units delay cord clamping. Most units delay interventions so that moms and dads can do skin to skin. We want you to have your beautiful birth. We are your advocate. Please make you birth plans but realize they are plans not law. Your safety and your baby’s safety are our ultimate goal.

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  35. The vitamin K shot DOES NOT have a correlation with leukemia. This is outdated information that has been proven false. Please edit your post to not scare uninformed parents.

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  36. As a pediatric nurse, I can tell that the benefits out way the risks of all of the items listed. For one CPS can be called if you do not do them, that is a judgement call that any medical staff can make even if they are not manditory and those are thi ngs CPS takes very seriously. As far the circumcision is concered, I could care less what you, but if you choose not to please please please make sure you know what you are doing when it comes to cleaning it the proper way. We see so many little 4 and 5 year olds who has penis infections because mom never teached them how. Secondly, the cord should never be cut before pulsation stops, but should never be left attached any longer than that. There is too high of a rick for infection with that. Now the vaccines, unless you have some religious reason not to do them (which would need to documented with state!) then the child should get, public and private school are no longer allowing children to attend school without ALL of the required vaccines. So instead of putting it off and then traumatizing the child when they are about 5/6 going it to kindergarten and have to get 22 vaccines in a mater of a few weeks to able to go to school, parents should follow the CDC vaccine schedule. Believe me, the nurses or doctors arent trying to hurt your child, on the contrary, we are trying to give your children the best opportunity to have a healthy life as possible.

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  37. All I can say to all of this, and the comments involved…if you haven’t studied medicine or health care and get your info from blogs like this, expect that things can and will go wrong. This is not written by a licensed medical professional and you cannot believe things you read on the internet! Don’t risk your child’s life for your granola ideas.

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  38. […] Informed Consent in Newborn Procedures | Modern Alternative Pregnancy […]

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  39. Just thought you should know, as a former labor and delivery RN, there is absolutely no reason that we should give erythromycin eye ointment to a baby who was delivered by a c-section because he had no exposure to an STD. However, after I examined how much money our hospital would save by not performing the procedure on c-section babies, management chose to keep the procedure as standard for all births so that it would be “such a habit that a nurse wouldn’t accidentally forget on a vaginal birth”. If you have a c-section, or if you are certain you don’t have an STD, then you can skip the eye ointment without any risk. I had to write a study on it once!
    I was once a L&D nurse, now the mother of 6, and a very different thinker. I actually delivered the first three where I used to work (stay at home mom after the first baby born), and delivered the last kiddos at home (like my other L & D nurse friends do)! A hospital is a great place for sick mommas, and a lousy place for healthy deliveries. (A good midwife would have more than enough time and knowledge to know when to transfer to the hospital.)
    Great article to encourage moms to be informed, ask questions, and kindly push back when you disagree. Nurses can be snotty when disagreed with (sorry about that), but we do care, and you as the parent should make the choices!

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  40. This is such a disheartening list. The author never cited any sources and never followed up when asked. I completely respect people’s opinions, but do research, don’t base medical decisions on a blog. Use medical journals or even google SCHOLAR for articles. Especially the vitamin K part!!!!!!! Also learn how a baby’s anatomy is significantly different in womb than at birth. Please make EDUCATED decisions about your children!!!!!

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  41. […] You Want to Stick that in my Baby Where!? Informed

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  42. I wish to thank all of you for supplying your opinions, and I would especially like to thank the author, for composing this article, which prompted everyone to provide more and more information.
    As a first time mom who is just days away from my due date, I am trying to gather as much input as I can. Separating fact from fiction seems to have no sway on what some people see as mandated; and to do otherwise might result in a consult with CPS agents, which I have strong feelings about. Does this routine of giving vaccines and administering tests simply not come in the course of a delivery at home involving a midwife, since they do not have access to those instruments and procedures? It seems like they would be forced to invoke the same state requirements, meriting intervention with CPS, if the parents are non-compliant.

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  43. People can do their research if they want, but they should at least understand what research is. It’s NOT a Google search. If you want to ‘do your homework,’ go to the library and read medical journals. Use their database subscriptions to pull up only scholarly articles written by doctors and scientists. Stay far away from any website with a .com, .org or .net. Even .edu is not entirely trustworthy. You can probably trust a website ending in .gov, but again, I would stick with the scholarly, peer reviewed articles. This is the only way to get the most reliable information. If a source wouldn’t be acceptable for a college level research paper, it’s not acceptable for medical information. On a related note, it’s simply foolish to think that your ‘research’ trumps 12+ years of college, medical school, internships, residencies, fellowships, and countless other trainings. That’s not including the years of experience and thousands of babies delivered and treated. Face it. The doctor knows more than you, even if your research is more substantial than a Google search. If the doctor recommends it, it’s probably the best option for you and your baby. Get as many opinions as you like, when it comes to routine procedures that are perfectly safe, very few doctors will tell you that skipping them is a good idea. I’d much rather have my child get an “unnecessary” vitamin K shot than die of completely preventable hemorraging. ALWAYS better safe than sorry.

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  44. HA!! .GOV????!?!! REALLY? So we can trust the government now?! Bottom line, everything the government tells us is where all that info in those medical books comes from. The government chooses what findings from scientists/ doctors gets out. Vaccines have a whole slew of issues, you choose your risks. Your baby your choice!

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  45. Circumcision is should NEVER be done if not needed. Less than 1% of intact adults need to be cut at some point in their lives. America is the only first world country than stl does it, although 60% of boys now a days are intact. We are slowly getting rid of this unnecessary trend in cutting parts of boys sexual organs off, I hope one day it is illegal. Of course when needed I don’t oppose, but think of how your family would react if you told them you decided to have your daughters labia and clitoris cut off so she would look nicer and be easier to clean?

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  46. Just FYI, your information about the Vitamin K shot is inaccurate and misleading.

    http://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-the-vitamin-k-shot-in-newborns/

    I read your post and thought ‘hm, maybe it’s not necessary?’ so I asked my father, a doctor, and he said it absolutely is and then I searched around and found this article. The risk of bleeding is real, but the risk of leukemia is not. I just wanted to share this science based view, in case anybody was confused.

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  47. I had the opportunity to listen to both sides, nurses and dooctors who respect the parent’s opinions and wishes and the ones that bully right thru them. I heard a mother being asked by a nurse if she wanted to try a vaginal delivery after a previous c-section (in a very dejected way, like she didn’t want to ask at all). The mother wanted to try, there was no medical reason why not to, but the nurse scared her so much with possible complications and no info whatsoever that these risk where extremely low, that at the end she had to consent to it. The nurse kept pushing and pushing… she asked thrice if the lady wanted to try and each time she said she wanted to, the nurse went back to tell her all the risks involved, she even mentioned the risk of having the uterus rupture and the patient bleed to death like a likely thing to happen! Until the moment the lady relented and said yes to the c section, then she didnt even explained the risk of it, she just said ok and continued like nothing happened. I had to wonder why she wanted the patient to have the c-sec so badly.

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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