A recent poll in my stories showed a portion of this community wasn’t aware that the “eye goop” they put on babies after they are born in the hospital is in case the mother has an std, so I thought it time to chat about it for a bit.
Erythromycin ointment aka “eye goop” is an antibiotic ointment that is given routinely in the hospital to newborn babies as a preventative against ocular chlamydia and gonorrhea in newborn babies who can get the infection in their eyes as they pass through the birth canal of a positive mother. Both infections can progress rapidly and cause blindness in the infant.
Most mothers are tested during pregnancy for these infections but they give to newborns regardless of test results prophylactically with the rationale that the mother could become infected between the time she is tested and when the infant is born.
There are a couple factors to consider when deciding if this is right for your baby.
1. Are you in a monogamous relationship?
2. Have you been tested and what were the results?
If a women is more at risk I think it could be appropriate but for someone in a monogamous relationship who has been tested the risk is essentially zero. One must also consider that antibiotics come with their own set of problems ie resistance and microbiome disruption, and if you want your baby starting off life and that critical-for-bonding golden hour with thick ointment covering their eyes. There is also the risk of sensitivities and eye redness/irritation to consider.
Obviously if a mother were to be positive without knowing it could be devastating for the baby however I personally have a problem with giving things routinely, across the board, without sufficient rationale as if there are no risks to the giving of it.
Definitely add this one to your list of things to research as you’re on your journey (or before) into motherhood!