There are 3 strongly encouraged medications your baby should receive within just a few of hours of birth. Don’t worry, though, immediately after delivery, you will be able to hold your baby skin-to-skin and have uninterrupted eye contact before these medications are given.
Here are those 3 medications:
- Vitamin K Injection: According to the CDC, research has shown that one shot at birth can protect your baby from developing dangerous bleeding that can lead to brain damage and even death. Newborns usually have low levels of Vitamin K because it is not easily shared between mom and baby during pregnancy. Vitamin K is needed to help the blood clot, therefore, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborns receive a shot after birth. The shot is given in the newborn’s right or left thigh. Infants who do not receive the Vitamin K shot can develop Vitamin K Deficiency (VKDB) up to 6 months of age.
- Erythromycin Eye Ointment: This ointment is applied as a thin strip in each of your baby’s eyes and is used to protect your baby from eye infections that can occur after birth. Not only does it aid in protecting against complications from Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhea, it also protects against other bacteria that normally live in a woman’s vagina that are not sexually transmitted.
- Hepatitis B Vaccine: Hepatitis B is a disease that affects the liver. Acute Hepatitis is a short term illness that occurs within the first 6 months of exposure. Chronic Hepatitis B is a long term illness. The vaccine is given as an injection into the baby’s left or right thigh and is the first of a series that are followed up in your pediatrician’s office. CDC recommends the first shot to be given after birth.