FixI get a lot of questions about Vitamin K.

This is a routine shot they give to babies after they are born, to help prevent a rare blood clotting problem that very few babies are born with. (1 in 100,000)

Should you let your baby get this shot?

There are pros and cons to it.  Some feel that the shot is linked to childhood leukemia.  Only you can decide if it is right for your baby!

Here are 3 great resources to gather information so you can make the best choice for you and your baby!

Enjoy!

photo credit: wstryder

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10 Comments

  1. Cute: Make up your own mind and you present three negative references. Y’know, if a standard healthcare provider did that, you’d pitch a fit.
    Ever seen a baby with bleeding problems? You only need to see one……but I doubt that you have that breadth of experience.

    EnjoyBirth Reply:

    I would love for you to share some other links for moms to research. I feel like 2 of the links I shared are fairly balanced and they all give more links so moms can do more research. But if you have another link you would like to share, please do. 🙂

    Honestly if a healthcare provider even let moms know they had choices and shared any references with cons and a few pros, that would be better then no information at all. I am thinking of cesarean moms who are told “Once a cesarean, always a cesarean.” Leading mom to believe she has no choice. Are most moms ever even asked if they want their baby to get the Vitamin K shot? Or is it just routinely given unless moms ask not to get it?

  2. It’s routinely given for good reason – it prevents bleeding. In the late 90’s there was some indication that it might be associated with leukemia, and of course this was worth further study, but the follow-up studies showed that there was no link.

    Br J Cancer. 2003 Oct 6;89(7):1228-31.
    Vitamin K and childhood cancer: a report from the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study.
    “We conclude that there is no convincing evidence that neonatal vitamin K administration, irrespective of the route by which it is given, influences the risk of children developing leukaemia or any other cancer.”

    Pediatrics. 2003 Jul;112(1 Pt 1):191-2.
    Controversies concerning vitamin K and the newborn. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn
    “Earlier concern regarding a possible causal association between parenteral vitamin K and childhood cancer has not been substantiated. “

    EnjoyBirth Reply:

    Thanks for sharing the links.

  3. I’d just like to say that all of my siblings and I have had are vaccinations. We had the Vitamin K shots at birth and are very healthy today. When my mom had my youngest sister, they ASKED my mom is she wanted my sister to have her Hep B and Vitamin K shot. My mom said “Of course!”. Within minutes, she could hear her screeching. My mom is a firm believer in vaccinations and we are all up to date.

    EnjoyBirth Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. I think it is great that you provide expectant moms with this information. My homebirth midwife is very skeptical of routine Vitamin K administration because it became standard practice around the same time that forceps deliveries were becoming the norm for vaginal births. For my family, we decided not to give Vitamin K for several reasons. One of which is because as Christians we feel strongly that our Creator designed my body to grow, give birth to and nourish our babies. If babies are born “low” in Vitamin K, then I think that is normal and if breastmilk is “low” in Vitamin K, I also think that is normal and as it should be.
    Also, I do not agree with one general assumption that the medical community makes in regards to “standard practices” of all kinds…they assume that it is worth the risk of prophylatically treating thousands in order the prevent the injury or harm of one individual. Of course that would be tragic if your baby happened to be one of the very rare cases of the disease, but it would be equally as tragic if your baby suffered a side effect or incidental injury as a result of the preventative treatment. I feel the same way about vaccines. Of course I don’t want my baby to die from pertussic or meningitis or Hepatitis B but I also don’t want my baby to suffer a severe or life threatening reaction to a vaccine. The fact is that with any injection, Vitamin K, vaccine or any medication, there is some level of risk. You are injecting a foreign substance into the body. So I think that risk needs to be weighed against the risk of contracting the disease, and then parents can decide for themselves. I am grateful that I had that information and was able to make an informed choice for my family.

    EnjoyBirth Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree, give moms information and then they can decide what is best for them.

  5. Im a clexaine mum (anti-coag) and for this reason my kids had the Vit K orally. My middle sons blood was so thin that during a bloodsugar test the heelprick spurted about a metre up the wall! – I don’t even want to think what would have happened to him without the Vit K.

    All mums can do is weigh up the evidence, their own health and history and do what they think is best. As a doula I always encourage mums to question, and research.

    Nobody said this parenting lark is easy

    EnjoyBirth Reply:

    The oral is a great option. It is great to hear from a mom who took that option. 🙂

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