Once your baby is born the doctors and nurses will want to give your newborn a shot of vitamin K. This is done to prevent Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn. This effects the bloods ability to clot and can lead to internal bleeding. While this is a rare disease with only 0.25 percent to 1.7 percent of infants being effected, the standard protocol is to inject every newborn baby with vitamin K.
The vitamin K shot contains 20,000 times the needed dose for an infant. Why are we injecting a newborn with 20,000 times the amount they need?! This seems insane to me! While the vitamin K injection is helpful in certain circumstances, it is not needed for every. single. newborn. When my first baby was born, via c section, we initially declined the vitamin K shot. She did have bruising around her umbilical cord and because of this we decided to give her the vitamin K shot when she was a day old. In case there was internal bleeding, the vitamin K shot would help her blood to clot. Our second child had no issues and was never given the vitamin K shot. Our third child is due in a few weeks and we will not be giving him a vitamin K shot.
Babies are not deficient in vitamin K. They were made this way for a reason. The haemostatic system is not fully mature until 3 to 6 months of age. It is, therefore, essential to acknowledge that the differences observed between adults and infants are probably physiological and do not always reflect an underlying pathological condition.
As an alternative to the vitamin K shot a pregnant woman can eat leafy green vegetables in the weeks before delivery to make sure her blood is high in vitamin K as this will transfer to her baby via the placenta. Oral vitamin K is another option.
Take a look at the warning label on the vitamin K injection here. Some studies have even linked the vitamin K injection to childhood cancer. Early VKDB presents within 24 hours of birth and is almost exclusively seen in infants of mothers taking drugs which inhibit vitamin K.
You have every right to decline the vitamin K shot for your newborn. Do not let any doctor, nurse or peer convince you otherwise. You should discuss this with your doctor and do your own research as well. Informed consent is key.
Here are a few links to help you make an informed decision:
While I may discuss medical procedures and options, I am NOT a doctor. My opinions are my opinions, they are not medical advice. Please, do research, speak with your doctor and make an INFORMED decision. Whatever that decision may be.