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Vitamin K Shot

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Is anyone else not doing the newborn vitamin k shot? Do you have alternative plans?

I've chosen not to have my newborn get the vitamin k shot. I plan to start taking alfalfa supplements about 4 weeks before my due date and continue taking them after the birth to increase the vitamin k level in my breast milk. One of my midwives at the birth center suggested doing this since I didn't want to do the vitamin k shot. I saw another midwife at the birth center this last week and I felt like she was trying to scare me into giving my newborn the vitamin k shot. I also felt like I freaked her out when I declined the gestational diabetes test. Anyone else feel similar to this? I love the birth center and wouldn't want to go anywhere else. I know that I can decline just about anything that I want to there, and I just need to sign a waiver. The midwives in the birth center really seem to have different opinions.

Carolyn
post #2 of 22
I also plan to increase my Vitamin K in the last weeks. My plan for this baby is the same as DS - no Vit K shot unless the birth is traumatic or unusual. This gives me some mental flexibility. Sure enough, last time DS was in signficant distress and ended up as an emergency C-section; therefore I decided at the last minute to accept the shot.

This time - same plan. No shot if a normal VBAC.

I feel like I've "given in" to several tests that I wouldn't normally accept just to keep my midwives "happy". I'm going for a VBAC, and this practice and this hospital are the only ones in the area to allow VBACs. Therefore, I feel like I need to keep them happy so they don't fire me. This kind of attitude obviously doesn't engender a mutually trusting relationship! I've agreed to the ultrasound and the diabetes test just to increase my midwife's comfort level so that they will be less likely to push "just in case" interventions later on.
post #3 of 22
We will not give Vit K, and didn't with our son. By the time your baby reaches 8 days old they have all the viatmin K they need- naturally, without you even having to do anything! Unless you have some sort of dramatic birth experience that could cause bleeding to the baby, Vit K is simply not necessary! I really wouldn't worry too much about it!
post #4 of 22
NOt doing it here, either, and not pursuing alternatives (other than drinking preg. tea which has alfalfa in it). Didn't do Vit. K w/ ds1, either.
post #5 of 22
At my (and nukedwifey's) birth center, the m/ws vary too. Our favorite is probably the one who is most naturally minded when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I SO hope she is on call when we go in!

We won't do the K shot unless it's a traumatic birth with bruising. I thought I had read that mother's k levels don't impact baby's, but I've also heard that it does - does anyone have any info on it?

Our main reason is that if newborns needed the level of K they get in the shot, they'd be born it with it .
post #6 of 22
If there is bruising we plan on doing it. DD was all bruised on her face and shoulders when she was born so there was no question.
post #7 of 22
We are planning to decline the vit k shot (for the fourth time!). If babe has a tramatic birth w/ bruising, we will go with an oral vit k instead of the shot. I have read that if you plan to circ baby before 8 days old, it is a good idea to have the shot or the oral to help with clotting.
post #8 of 22
During my first pregnancy, our doula mentioned some connection between getting the Vitamin K shot, and having an increased likelihood of Jaundice.
Has anyone else heard of this?
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxine45 View Post
During my first pregnancy, our doula mentioned some connection between getting the Vitamin K shot, and having an increased likelihood of Jaundice.
Has anyone else heard of this?
I haven't, but that is interesting.
post #10 of 22
I think I will be doing the Vitamin K shot. While the risk of brain bleeding is extremely rare, it does exist, and I don't feel that there are any strong enough side-effects of the VitK shot that would lead me to disregard that (admittedly very small) risk.
post #11 of 22
Hello! Sorry to crash your DDC, but I saw this thread and was hoping maybe you ladies could tell me exactly what the vit k shot is given for??

Thank you!!:
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmariev View Post
Hello! Sorry to crash your DDC, but I saw this thread and was hoping maybe you ladies could tell me exactly what the vit k shot is given for??

Thank you!!:
The VitK shot is given for the rare occurence that the baby develops a disorder early in life that can cause bleeding in the brain, resulting in sometimes permanent brain damage or death.

If the delivery is normal and healthy, chances are it is unnecessary, although that isn't a 100% guarantee (there are certain risk factors to take into account).

Babies are born with a natural VitK deficiency which can keep their blood from clotting correctly.

Most sources say that if you don't want the shot, you should supplement the baby with oral VitK in the first few weeks (I believe-- could be the first few months).

VitK is in formula, but not in breastmilk in sufficient amounts. Also, it doesn't cross the placenta well, so mother-supplementation isn't very effective.
post #13 of 22
One has to question the natural design that babies are born with small amounts of vit K until approx 8 days. Perhaps there is a good reson for that.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfulJaime View Post
One has to question the natural design that babies are born with small amounts of vit K until approx 8 days. Perhaps there is a good reson for that.
Perhaps, but I don't know of any reason for it.
post #15 of 22
I found this interesting site about vit k http://babyreference.com/VitaminKinjectORnot.htm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfulJaime View Post
One has to question the natural design that babies are born with small amounts of vit K until approx 8 days. Perhaps there is a good reson for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
Perhaps, but I don't know of any reason for it.

Looked around some, and apparently there is suggestion that a VitK deficiency in the womb helps bones form properly. Not sure how accurate that is, but it's one suggestion.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaw/two View Post
I found this interesting site about vit k http://babyreference.com/VitaminKinjectORnot.htm
Ugh. Now I'm even more confused. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Leukemia risk if you do, bleeding in the brain risk if you don't.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
Perhaps, but I don't know of any reason for it.
There's a LOT we still don't know. That's why I'm not quick to jump on "fixing" that which I am not sure needs "fixing". I could be doing more harm than good in my ignorance.

There's only so much science has figured out, LOTS they still haven't.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post
Ugh. Now I'm even more confused. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Leukemia risk if you do, bleeding in the brain risk if you don't.
From what I've read the Leukemia link has been dismissed as faulty. People still use it to better their case but I'm not one to accept faulty or dismissed information. The bleeding of the brain risk is only 5 out of 100,000 births.

I'm far more interested in giving my baby an oral form in a lower, more frequent dosage than sticking the baby within hours of birth. Of course when I talked to one of the MWs about it she said "well, the oral dose hasn't been proven to help." Either way the baby is getting Vit K. If it's going to help one way why would it fail the other? Plus I thought orally was how they gave it in a lot of European countries, anyone know that for sure? I guess it's hard to study something when the occurrence of the disease is so low....
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post
Ugh. Now I'm even more confused. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Leukemia risk if you do, bleeding in the brain risk if you don't.

Yeah... that's why it's a tough choice.

Pretty much what's driving my decision, is that on one side there is a very small but known risk of bleeding of the brain, while on the other side there is a very small but as yet unknown risk of the leukemia. I'm weighing the known risk against the unknown (which HAS been criticized heavily).


As far as oral supplemenation, I don't see why that wouldn't work, and I've heard even doctors say that it works just as well.
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