Newborn eye care consists of apply the ointment erythromycin into the baby’s eyes at birth. This is to prevent infections getting into the baby eye, which can cause blindness. The concern is for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia, which can be transmitted to the baby during the birth.
In places where Gonorrhea and Chlamydia occurs often you will find it a common practice in the hospital that newborn receive this medication. Some state even requires this to be administered to all newborns, because it is a safe, inexpensive medication. However in cases where there are few cases or the mother and partner have never had these diseases than there is minimal risk that these diseases will be transferred to the newborn. Having a discussion with your healthcare provider about the need for erythromycin ointment, you can find the best available option.
Some places use silver nitrate in the eyes instead of erythromycin. Silver nitrate works better than erythromycin however; there are more chances that the baby can develop a temporary conjunctivitis to this medication.
A baby’s can develop a reaction to the erythromycin ointment, which is a chemical conjunctivitis, which can cause redness, swelling, drainage and blurred vision for 24-48 hours. Typically, this reaction is temporary and it will resolve on its own.
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Teaching mothers how to wrap their new born baby.