Friday, June 12, 2009

Gender-exclusive bloodletting technology

Tenderfoot Preemie Heel Stick Devices, Itc - Model Tfp1000I was tooling around Amazon looking for some fabulous cream that's supposed to tackle dry, cracked heels that has the unfortunate name of "Heel Stick," when I found these actual heel stick devices.

As those of us who have had a newborn and any run-in with established medical care know, a "heel stick" is a term for slicing open a newborn's foot to dribble out blood for tests.

(Hence, the unfortunate naming of the lotion I was referring to, because I don't think milking a newborn's chubby leg for blood is what we want to think of as we pamper our feet for sandal weather.)

We had numerous heel sticks with Mikko. We chose to have the standard newborn screening tests for genetic diseases, and we had very little choice at all (or so it seemed) in having our newborn tested for blood glucose several times over a twelve-hour period after he was born a healthy 11 pounds, 13 ounces. (Yes, he was fine, and so was I.)

The hospital didn't offer me this option, but for the second newborn screening test in my pediatrician's office, I was able to breastfeed Mikko throughout the bloodletting ordeal, and he didn't seem to even notice. I highly recommend giving it a try for any nursling medical procedures where it's possible.

Now, Mikko might have tough heels, but I was quite squeamish about the whole thing. His blood didn't exactly flow, so it was a long drawn out process, and I felt so bad that we were cutting up my infant's perfect little feet.

Think how much better I would have felt if my pediatrician had used these gender-coded heel stick devices! I would have butched up if she had pulled out the manly baby blue for my little guy, rather than using a boring old neutral. And I'm sure mamas of girls would appreciate the prettiness of the pastel pink coordinating with the deep red of the blood dotting the testing card.

Does anyone else think it's weird that we gender-type babies from the minute they arrive? Blue hats, pink blankets, baseball birth announcements and flower birth announcements, construction truck onesies and "I ♥ gossip" bibs, all before any preference is given.

But the matchy-matchy heel sticks have impressed even me.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Seriously?

Kelly said...

Everything is customized these days. I had an student nurse do the heel stick on my daughter and it took forever, luckily I was nursing her the entire time and she didn't even care

Kailia said...

While the world is wildly gender stereotyped these days, the colors that you see in the tenderfoot lancets above are not meant to be pink for girls blue for boys. The different colors are each a different size lancet.

Micro preemie - blue
Preemie - white
nb/infant - one side pink/one side blue
toddler - pink

Of course this is only one brand.

Lauren Wayne said...

Oh, someone who actually knows what she's talking about! Unlike me, who just writes without doing research to amuse myself...

I can't seem to get to your site — is up? I'll try again later.

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