July 26, 2013

Top 5 Newborn Routine Procedures to Reconsider + Bonuses!

Though routine,some of the most common newborn procedures can be unnecessary and carry risks.
It is also common for many parents to not be given adequate information about these procedures,therefore they aren't able to make fully informed choices regarding the health of their newborn.

Hopefully this simplified list of things to consider can help!

1.) Immediate Cord Clamping

Even though research indicates that a physiological third stage and delayed cord clamping are healthiest for mom and baby in nearly every situation,many care providers still clamp and cut the umbilical cord immediately following delivery.

This is not an evidence based practice and is NOT beneficial to your baby.
Ideally,it is best to wait until the cord has stopped pulsating and all the blood has transferred from the placenta to the baby.
This extra blood belongs to the baby and it should be standard practice to allow the baby what is his/hers.
This oxygenated blood aids the baby in a smooth transition to taking their first breaths and finding balance outside the womb.
Additionally,babies who are allowed their full blood volume have better iron levels later on.

You can read more about Delayed cord clamping here:





2.) Vitamin K Shot

Vitamin K-presumably given to newborns to prevent issues with an inability of the blood to clot.
Because newborns are born with a lowered level of vit k,physicians feel it's appropriate to give a synthetic dose of vitamin k at birth-even though it's perfectly normal throughout civilization for all newborns to be born with these "lowered",yet normal levels of vitamin k.
Over a weeks time after birth,babies will naturally and gradually increase their levels.

Synthetic vitamins are known to cause harm,and yet the Vitamin K shot is given to newborns,despite their fragile livers are not yet developed enough to handle the high dosage given.

There are some indications to be aware of-a traumatic/forceps assisted delivery,circumcision  (In and of itself a routine procedure to skip!) and other events may increase the risks of blood clotting issues.
Mothers can naturally aid in the Vitamin K levels by eating dark leafy greens,as well as possibly consuming an alfalfa supplement during the last weeks of pregnancy.

You can read more about the Vitamin K shot here:





3.) Eye Ointment

Prophylactic Eye Ointment-administered to newborns to prevent Gonorrhea from being passed to them from their infected mother.

So,unless you are at risk for this sexually transmitted infection,there is no need to subject your newborn to an antibiotic ointment designed to prevent blindness from Gonorrhea.

You can read more about Eye Ointment here:





4.) First Bath

Many people feel that babies need to be wiped down and cleaned ASAP.
This isn't true-and in fact by doing so,we interfere with the "here I am" reconnection of mama and baby.
There are many benefits to keeping baby "as is",fresh from the womb.
Vernix (the goopy white coating on newborns) is not only a beautiful moisturizer,but it also contains a smell that helps mama's instinctively get to know their baby.

By rubbing the vernix in-rather than off-we not only retain the moisture in baby's skin,but also keep that fresh "newborn" smell.
First baths in the hospital are generally done using harsh (to babies!) chemical laden toxic soaps that not only strip the newborn of natural moisture,but interfere with the physiological response between mama and baby.
The same effect is received when a little cotton hat is put on your baby...here are some words from Carla Hartley,founder of Ancient Art Midwifery Institute and a wonderful friend of mine:

The bare head (as intended) elicits bonding and nurturing behavior in everyone who gets a whiff of those pheromones but they are meant for the mamma and daddy"

You can read more about the benefits of vernix and delayed bathing here:





Here are some additional links concerning the hatting of babies-remember,your body is all your baby needs,even if those hats seem cute!



5.) Hepatitis B shot

A vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease.
Unless your baby is sexually active or shooting up with dirty needles,chances are he/she is not at risk for what this vaccine is intending to prevent.
Newborns have enough going on without further corrupting their delicate immune systems.
Please research this thoroughly before allowing it....remember,it doesn't have to be done in the hospital and delaying it can never do harm.
There is also an increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) with the administration of the Hep B vaccine.

You can learn more about the Hep B shot here:




And,since this post should have been called:
"Top 6 Newborn Routine Procedures to Reconsider"

Presenting for your consideration:


You might have your mind made up.You may already have a circumcised son.You may have decided to keep your son intact.
Maybe you're on the fence or you'd like to learn more.

The truth is,there are a lot of myths surrounding "reasons" to circumcise.
If you've read my blog,you may know that I chose to have my first four sons circumcised.Now,I use "chose" very loosely because I honestly didn't know much truth or facts about circumcision.
This topic could turn into a full post,so I'm going to try and keep it simple with some added links to help you.

Basically,the foreskin DOES have a function.
We are told that it's "just a piece of skin" and that the baby "won't remember a thing or feel pain".
Neither of those statements are true-that piece of skin has about 20,000 nerve endings,enhances sexual pleasure and provides protection for
 the glans/head of the penis to prevent it from callousing.

"Baby won't remember a thing or feel pain"....there is evidence that psychologically,any trauma to the body is stored as an association.The actual memory may not be clear,but emotional damage occurs when any living creature of ANY age experiences trauma or pain.
Research also shows that babies feel pain as intensely as adults and,because the newborn is unable to understand what has happened,the pain scale may be worse than that of an older person who can understand.
The "healing" of circumcision is done without pain medication and in a feces and urine soaked diaper-many baby boys cry out for days each time they urinate.

Not all physicians use anesthetic when performing a circumcision.
There are many complications that can arise just from the procedure.
117 baby boys die every year from circumcision complications.
80% of the worlds men are intact.
The number of boys being circumcised in the United States is dropping!

There are many,many "reasons" given for the amputation of the foreskin-I promise that soon I will write up a detailed post going over them.
For now,I will leave you with some links to browse,and a final word:

"It can always be done later....but it can never be undone"





Additional Tips:

Consider DELAYING any and all newborn procedures such as weighing and measuring.

A baby does well,if not best in almost all situations being close to it's mother.
Even with a baby who needs a bit of extra care,delaying cord clamping-and being skin to skin-will aid in stabilizing your baby.
Any examinations should-if possible-be done with the baby on mama.

Weighing can wait.
Any other procedures you opt to have done can wait.
Get to know your baby...the first hours after birth is when the hormone "Oxytocin" is highest.Take advantage if at all possible!