Monday, March 10, 2014

Afterbirth Newborn Care

One of my friends asked me to talk about some of the interventions done with newborns in the hospital after birth. Here is a basic overview of those done in the delivery room.

Cord Clamping

There is much debate about when the cord should be clamped. On the natural side people argue that you should wait for the cord to stop pulsating before cutting. On the medical side you have people saying it doesn't matter when you cut it. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle and dependent on each child. Generally speaking there is no harm in waiting to cut the cord and there could be some harm in cutting to early, though not likely.
The reasons for waiting include increasing the blood supply, increasing levels of vitamin K and helping the circulatory system as it transforms.
This is a matter for you to pray over and discuss with your spouse and provider.

Vitamin K Shot

After birth newborns are given a shot of Vitamin K to help with blood clotting. This is to prevent possible bleeding, especially in the brain that can happen due to birth trauma. Thankfully, this is not very likely, especially in an unassisted birth. There is some evidence to show that if you delay in clamping the cord, there may be less of a need, if any at all for the Vitamin K shot.
This is again a matter to pray over and discuss with your spouse and provider to decide what is best for your baby.
These first two are closely related and should be considered together

Eye Antibiotic

After birth, newborns are given erythromycin ointment in their eyes to prevent infection. The infections that typically cause issues are STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, therefore if you do not have a known infection the antibiotics are not necessary.

What are your thoughts on these interventions?

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