Newborn Care

Normal newborn care is included in your midwifery services from the moment of birth until 6 weeks postpartum. At each of your postpartum visits, we will evaluate baby for adeqaute weight gain, feeding success, normal vital signs and identify any concerns or needs for referrals. There are many tests and procedures parents must consider for their baby. We recommend that parents research each test and procedure; talk to their midwives about the benefits, risks and alternatives; and make choices from a well-informed position.  Here is an overview of the first tests and procedures that will be offered to you for your newborn by us or by the baby's pedicatrician. You have the right to consent or decline any of the following.​​

 

  • Newborn Exam

    • We provide initial newborn care including immediate assessment and monitoring after birth and a complete head to toe physical newborn exam within 2 hours of birth. We will weigh, measure, and evaluate baby for any concerns and recommend medical follow up as needed.

  • Vitamin K Injection

    • Within the medical model, Vitamin K injections for the prevention of hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) have been routinely given in hospital for decades. HDN is a very rare but serious disease which can cause uncontrollable bleeding in the newborn. As far as we know, newborns have never had high levels of Vitamin K in their bodies at birth and most newborns begin making these clotting factors within a week of beginning to breastfeed.

  • Eye Ointment

    • Newborn eye prophylaxis is an antibiotic ointment administered to the newborn's eyes primarily for the prevention of blindness due to gonorrhea and chlamydia infection. In the US, the antibiotic ointment most commonly used is Erythromycin; it is administered at the newborn exam within 2 hours of birth.

  • Newborn Metabolic Screening

    • The newborn bloodspot screening is done to test for metabolic disorders or an inability for the body to process breastmilk, formula, and/or food normally. Arizona state lab tests for 28 disorders; most of these disorders are inherited and most are rare. There are a few which are more common and can occur without family history. Arizona recommends two tests: one done within 24 hours of birth and a second at day 5-7. You can view details about newborn metabolic screening in Arizona here

  • Congenital Heart Defect (Pulse Oximetry) Screening

    • Pulse oximetry screening is offered for your baby at your first postpartum visit. This simple, non-invasive screen measures how well your baby is curculating oxygen and can identify heart defects early. 

  • Hearing Screening

    • Hearing screens are performed soon after birth to detect hearing disorders present. These hearing screens can detect even the smallest different in hearing that may not be evident by observing baby. Early screening may lead to early intervention and treatment. As home birth families, you may elect to get a hearing screen for your baby anytime, ideally within the first month of life. There are local midwifery practice that can perform hearing screening for home birth families. AZ hearing screening program information is here. 

  • Pediatrician Visit

    • Your midwife will do a complete newborn exam as well as routine newborn care for the first 6 weeks postpartum. AZ state health department recommends parents arrange prenatally to see a pediatrician is recommended after having your baby at home. An early relationship with a pediatrician can be invaluable if your little one gets sick and for ongoing care as your baby gets older. Click here to go to our referrals page for a list of pediatricians our families have good feedback about.

  • Immunizations

    • When considering which vaccines to obtain for your child, we encourage you to research the benefits and risks of each individual immunization. A one-size-fits-all approach is often not appropriate and there may be some vaccines you believe important while others you may elect to skip. In AZ, this is your choice and your child will still be eligible for public school and social services regardless of vaccination status. The only vaccination routinely offered at birth is Hepatitis B. Your midwife will not provide vaccinations, so you must talk with your pediatrician.

  • Circumcision

    • In developed nations, such as the United States, there is no medical benefit to circumcision. It is strictly a cultural and religious practice. As parents learn this, rates of circumcision continue to drop, especially in the western and southwestern states. Currently, more boys are left intact than are circumcised. Newborn circumcision, whether male or female, is non-consensual body modification. At a Midwife's Kaleidoscope, we strongly stand against circumcision and are willing to discuss this. For local support on not circumcising, you may visit Intact Arizona. If you are Jewish and considering not circumcising, start here