Newborn Procedures Offered At Birthways
When choosing a birth center for yourself, it’s important to take a lot of factors into consideration. The location, the staff, and most of all, the type of care they provide.
The care a birth center provides plays an important role in determining whether or not they will align with your birth goals. Along with services for the mother, you also need to look into the services the birth center provides for your baby.
While you can always seek additional care for your baby later, your baby may need some amount of immediate care soon after birth. For this reason, we offer optional newborn procedures at our birth center. Please note that these procedures, like all procedures at the birth center, are thoroughly discussed and decided upon with our clients in advance as informed consent is a top priority in your care.
Procedures Offered By Birthways Birth Center
- Vitamin K Shot
Vitamin K is important to help blood clotting and prevent bleeding in babies soon after birth. Babies are often deficient in Vitamin K, resulting in bleeding problems after birth.
Giving them a shot of Vitamin K soon after birth is recommended to prevent severe bleeding during the first few days of life. It has been considered safe, with minimal to no side effects. We offer the Vitamin K shot for your baby if it is something you have decided you would like.
- Eye Ointment
Newborns are often prone to getting eye infections called neonatal conjunctivitis soon after birth. It usually results in redness of the eye and discharge which may be watery or purulent. The infection is usually acquired during birth when the baby’s head passes through the birth canal.
Antibiotic eye ointment is given immediately after birth often helps prevent these infections. If left untreated, the infection can lead to serious consequences including blindness. At Birthways, we encourage the use of eye ointment for newborns to prevent the complications arising from these infections. We help you learn about eye ointment and the reasons behind it so you can make an educated decision for your family.
- Delayed Cord Clamping
At some point, after your baby is delivered, the umbilical cord needs to be clamped and divided. The umbilical cord is a connection between the placenta and the baby during the in-utero period which allows the transfer of oxygen and nutrients. Since it is no longer needed after birth, it needs to be separated.
At Birthways, we practice delayed cord clamping over immediate cord clamping since it allows more of the baby’s blood to pass back into their circulation. It also prevents complications such as hypoglycemia (low sugar level in the blood). ACOG recommends waiting 30-60 seconds before cord clamping to allow for these benefits, and here at the birth center, we follow some intuitive, evidence-based guidelines to know when it is the right time to clamp the cord.
A service that many people might think is standard but actually isn’t necessary is bathing the baby right after birth.
We recommend waiting at least 24 hours to give babies their first bath. This allows the baby to regulate temperature control and for the bacteria that is on the baby to develop their own microbiome. 24 hours after your baby is born they don’t need more than a quick wipe down until their umbilical cord falls off.
If you have questions regarding any other services that you expect from us, please let your midwife know at any of your prenatal appointments or contact us for further clarification.