Vitamin K - good or bad at birth?

Amy - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




Was looking up general procedures after birth to see what's legally mandatory and what I can opt out of. Was reading about Vitamin K.

"This is usually an injection given after the birth. Your baby isn't born with intact clotting factors. This started being common and become law when forceps deliveries were very common, to help prevent bleeding in the brain because of the extra trauma to the baby's head. Today we are still using this state law and giving babies vitamin K routinely, despite the fact that forceps deliveries have changed and occur less frequently.

Many other countries have newer policies of when to provide vitamin K as opposed to doing it routinely.

Some families are requesting that the vitamin K be given orally. While we aren't sure how well this works many pediatricians are agreeing to this. **Recently vitamin K has been linked to jaundice and even a potential increase in childhood leukemia.** "

Increase in leukemia...and it's legally mandatory? And it was only in place due to forceps delivery and head trauma, but all have to have it. What say you, ladies? Not going to lie, it's freaking me out a bit!


Amanda - posted on 04/06/2011




Vitamin K is given not due to forceps but because 5 out of 100000 children get bleeding of the brain between week 3rd to week 5th of life. But you are right about the chances of cancer raising after the shot. Forumal feed children dont need to have the shot, and a mother who breastfeeds and eats a HIGH vitamin K diet before and after birth can withhold this shot also. It should be up to a parent, chance a rare bleeding disorder, or cancer. Cancer can be fought brain damage or death can not.


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Minnie - posted on 04/06/2011




I'm pretty sure at least in NH hospitals it is 'legally' required. But we opted out with our home birth.

Nikki - posted on 04/06/2011




Pia is there a record in your child health book? I really don't recall if my daughter had it or not? Pretty scary about the cancer link if it is in fact true.

Amanda - posted on 04/06/2011




I would ask your doctor if its law, I am sure the laws on that differ place to place. I couldnt find the stats on how many children actually get cancer from the injection. I would love to see the rates, if they are higher than 5 out of 100 000 for the brain bleed.

Amy - posted on 04/06/2011




Amanda - it sounded like reading that article that it was LAW to give it. THAT was what worried me. I do eat very well and am not for all the added tests that are just there because they are "routine". Was looking and I would have opted out of this, but looked like it was mandatory. I agree, Pia. We should be able to choose to say no to this.

Pia - posted on 04/06/2011




Both my babies had vitamin k after birth but we chose to have it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think it is mandatory in Australia...however my midwife really pushed it and I didn't really look into it (shame) so just went with it.
My son had the injection and my daughter ha it orally...both ended up with jaundice, which my midwife was surprised about because she says it's unusual for babies to be jaundiced when the mothers blood type is A pos...interesting, I'm going to have to look into this now!

I don't understand how it can be mandatory! Don't we, as parents, have the right to choose what we think is right for out babies? Shouldnt we control the substances that enter their bodies? We can choose to vaccinate them, why does this differ so greatly?

Elfrieda - posted on 04/06/2011




I didn't know that about the connection to jaundice and leukemia. Ahh!

At the time (dec 2009) I opted out of all the extra stuff except the vit k, because I thought there was no harm, and it was in place just in case a blood vessel burst during the birth.

Next time I have a baby I'll look into it more, and probably say no, thanks. I'd be hesitant to do the oral thing, either, since the baby's digestive system is only just starting up. It doesn't need any extra challenges.

So many of the choices we have to make as parents are basically guesses as to what the right thing to do is. It's hard, but we just have to do what we think is best and deal with the consequences. (my son did have jaundice, by the way, but it wasn't quite bad enough for him to go to the hospital)

I hope you come to a decision that you're happy with.

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