Sunday, March 30, 2008

Newborn Eye Ointment

Anne, in the comments on my Pregnancy Update, you asked what the eye antibiotics were. I decided to post the information here rather than in the comments because of length.

Eye ointment - If you had a sexually transmitted disease while pregnant, this can be passed to your baby and cause blindness. Rather than test for an STD before applying the ointment, they simply apply it to all infants. Silver nitrate used to be used, and it stung the baby’s eyes, sometimes causing eye problems later in life. Now it is more common to use Erythromycin, which does not sting. However, many mothers object to their babies receiving a treatment that is unnecessary, especially if they are in a monogamous relationship and know they don't have an STD, or if they have been previously tested. This can be dispensed with if you sign a waver (sic). Click Here to read the medical research studies which explain why choosing to forgoe the ointment is a reasonable decision for parents to make because the treatment does not significantly reduce infection, and many infants who receive the treatment contraction the infection anyway.

Information copied from:
(This reference is not meant to imply an endorsement of the website mentioned)

Since this is totally not an issue for me, I see no reason whatsoever to subject my child to the antibiotic. I'm not a proponant of prophylactic antibiotic use anyway so it's a pretty natural response for me to decline it.

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