At the hospital I work at as an L&D nurse, approximately 75% or more of our newborns are lavaged at least once. As a new nurse I am uncomfortable with this practice and feel that it is unnecessary. I spoke with one of my trusted professors from the University of Minnesota and she stated that this is an OLD PRACTICE that is not recommended. I have only been able to find 1-2 research articles on the topic and they both support what my professor is saying.
What are other hospitals doing?
The nurses that I work with who believe in newborn gastric lavage claim that....
1. It should be used if a newborn is not nursing well. It empties the amniotic fluid out of their stomach so that they are hungry.
2. It should be used if a baby is "gaggy" so they nurse better and so that they don't spit up the mucous and choke on it.
I feel that lavage is performed too frequently at my place of work and I would like to change or eliminate our policy that allows this. I need some more information to help clarify this issue before I attempt to move forward with this change. Please help!