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Vitamin K at birth

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
We are still researching in depth the whole vaccination thing....have at least determined not to do ANY the first year or two...and make our decisions one at a time...
in the meantime, have those of you who choose not to vaccinate still gotten the vitamin k shot for your infants? We've read the label and what's in it is vit k and an absolute minimal trace amount of aluminum...i forget the number offhand but it is truley way below anything I have seen as having potential harm....so I'm wondering in the case of vit K, do the benefits outweigh the minute amount of aluminum? Thoughts?
post #2 of 34
On my birth plan, I wrote down that we did not want the eye goo, vitamin k, or hep b administered in the hospital. The staff was all familiar with my plan and no one said a word to me about it. Dd had a difficult birth... she crowned for over 2 hours and had a bruise that covered over half her head. At that point, I fully expected an onslaught of doctors and nurses telling me that it was now extremely important for dd to get the vitamin k shot, but no one said a word, including her VERY pro-vax pediatrician who visited her within hours of her birth. Dd is fine, and I am very happy that we did not get her the shot. When dd was born, we were still planning on vaxing too, just not the at birth shots. We didn't change our mind about vaxing entirely until later.

Is aluminum the only ingredient you are worried about in the vitamin k shot? There are a ton of them that concerned us, and I was uncomfortable with any of them being injected into a newborn. In fact, I was uncomfortable with anything being injected into a newborn, plain old vitamins included. It seemed incredibly unnatural and not at all how I wanted dd to start her life. I also didn't want to give her the oral vitamin k... I figured if she needed that much vitamin k immediately after birth, evolution would have adjusted colostrum by now.

Here is one article that I like on the whole vitamin k subject. It isn't an "official" document, it is just an easy to understand take on things.
post #3 of 34
i had a hb with both my kiddos. We didn't have the Vit K with ds.. it nvr came up. Between the kids my mw had an experience where a baby had a bleeding prblm that might have been helped with Vit K. With dd, we did do Vit K but it was not a shot. It was an oral drop at birth and then from then on it was me taking a tablet every other day that she would get in bm so i was comfortable with that. It even helped my pp bleeding.
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
My husband works in the hospital where we are to give birh...the only ingredient in the shot other than the vitamin is the aluminum. He found the actual vile and looked himself. There are perhaps others with more, but not here.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katarn View Post
i had a hb with both my kiddos. We didn't have the Vit K with ds.. it nvr came up. Between the kids my mw had an experience where a baby had a bleeding prblm that might have been helped with Vit K. With dd, we did do Vit K but it was not a shot. It was an oral drop at birth and then from then on it was me taking a tablet every other day that she would get in bm so i was comfortable with that. It even helped my pp bleeding.
That is interesting...I'll have to bring that possibility up and look into it further...
post #6 of 34
birthwithlove sells the oral drops. That's what we did, you give them three times. They are preservative free, no colors, flavors, naturally derived (plants) and taste - and oderfree.
The vitamin K shot seemed odd to me from the get-go as it's not used in Europe (they use oral Konakion). When I did more research, I came across an AAP document that says they think the shot is better for compliance as they don't trust parents to give all three doses to their kids. That's what it boils down to, pediatricians thinking they know-it-all and that parents must be dumb, negligent and unable to make a decision. I had a ped in the hospital tell us that the oral vitamin K never works. I laughed at him and said right, that's why so many babies die daily in Europe. He shut up immediately when he realized I knew what I was talking about.
post #7 of 34
We had opted out of the vit. K and our midwife was fine with that, but when my son came out after a difficult labor, he was covered in bruises. We decided to give the vit. K based on that. Before the vit. K shot, about 1 in 1000 babies would die from undetected internal bleeding (if I'm remembering Ina May's book correctly). So, if you know you've got a higher risk situation (hard labor, bruising, etc.) then I think the benefit outweighs the risk. If it's lower risk, then the oral drops would be better, IMO.

You could also load up on foods heavy in Vit. K in the weeks before birth. Not sure what those are though.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post

You could also load up on foods heavy in Vit. K in the weeks before birth. Not sure what those are though.
There are two types of vitamin K, K1 is in leafy green stuff, and K2 is in fatty animal products and seems to vary a lot based on what the animals ate. It's a good argument for pastured butter and eggs from pastured chickens, like that.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search?q=placenta

This blog post has links to studies, either full or abstracts, that discuss K1 and K2 and the placenta, really interesting reading.

I've read, secondhand, of recommendations that moms take 1mg of K2 on an ongoing basis, and based on what I've read of the amounts in foods, it seems reasonable to me. I use Thorne's K2 drops for the kids.
post #9 of 34
I was not going to do the Vit K. I had the oral drops all reday to go. The birth was difficult and resulted in a C-section. I was so tired and so out of it when they told me I "had" to get it, I caved. I regret it everyday. The next baby will not get it and will get the drops.

There is some older research from the ltae 90's linking the vit k shot to an increased risk of Leukemia.
It is also about the AMOUNT of vit k in the shot. It is the same as what they give 180 pound adults for blodd clotting. Why do you think most babies born in hospitals become jaundiced. I believe it is from the vIt k shot.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
This is all good information....thank you everyone...I will continue my own research and bring it up with both my naturapathic doctor and my midwife to see what their views are.... I do think the baby needs vit k (our foods simply dont have what they used to even though we do eat a very natural food diet) but I need to decide on the form of vit k....the drops sound good as does me taking an increased amount before the birth, but I will research further.... Thank you again! I just love this forum!
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by organicmom3 View Post
This is all good information....thank you everyone...I will continue my own research and bring it up with both my naturapathic doctor and my midwife to see what their views are.... I do think the baby needs vit k (our foods simply dont have what they used to even though we do eat a very natural food diet) but I need to decide on the form of vit k....the drops sound good as does me taking an increased amount before the birth, but I will research further.... Thank you again! I just love this forum!
Do you really think that hundreds of years of evolution have just "screwed up" whe it comes to Vitamin K? Logically it does not make sense. Most HDN is medically induced IMO. Premature clamping of the cord, the use of vacuums and forceps. The use of antibiotics which inhibit the formation of Vit K. Please look at this midwife's link about Vit K very informative. http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/vitktop.html
If you have a natural birth with little to no medical intervention, Id say the baby doesn't need anything. If it is a medicalized birth go with the drops ....JMHO
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by organicmom3 View Post
so I'm wondering in the case of vit K, do the benefits outweigh the minute amount of aluminum? Thoughts?
Infants are normally born with a very low level of vit K and naturally, gradually, build on that. What the hospital does is give every infant a massive dose in case that random infant is the one who has an undetected bleeding disorder. We are born with "X" level of vit K, then are given a massive dose; don't you think there may be consequences from that alone?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
We had opted out of the vit. K and our midwife was fine with that, but when my son came out after a difficult labor, he was covered in bruises. We decided to give the vit. K based on that. Before the vit. K shot, about 1 in 1000 babies would die from undetected internal bleeding (if I'm remembering Ina May's book correctly). So, if you know you've got a higher risk situation (hard labor, bruising, etc.) then I think the benefit outweighs the risk. If it's lower risk, then the oral drops would be better, IMO.

You could also load up on foods heavy in Vit. K in the weeks before birth. Not sure what those are though.
Its not one in 1000. Its one in 10000-20000.

I didnt know they did that to babies when I had my first one. She got it and I didnt even see her get it and neither did my DH. We are wondering if they maybe forgot to give it to her because they never said anything and they were pretty good about telling us why they were taking her away from us.

We will do the oral drops for the next baby although I am not 100% sure its necessary.
post #14 of 34
I don't know if ds got the vitamin K shot. I am assuming he did but no one mentioned it, neither the ped or the hospital staff. What is it exactly for? Bruising? He was crowning, they used the suction instrument on him 2 or 3 times, I ended up with a c-section. It was a really difficult labor and delivery. He ended up having a large bruise on his head due to the suction. I remember one nurse saying he looked a little jaundice also. Do you think that was due to the shot? I remember her saying something about why but it had nothing to do with the shot. I swear I think she said that he wasn't having enough formula and that is what is causing it. Do you think if they gave the K shot to him it was necessary?

Anway, I will have to ask the ped what is in his chart at the next well visit. I am not upset that he had the K shot (that is, if he did get it), I am more upset about the fact that they didn't ask me. When I delivered, I was most concerned and I expressed that concern that he didn't get the hep b vaccine, which I know he didn't.
post #15 of 34
I've been told they don't have to ask about the vitamin K shot because it's 'routine.' I still see it as a violation. Their form specifically said absolutely nothing was to be given without consent. They didn't ask for my consent. They just gave it. So remember to bring it up beforehand because they more than likely won't.
post #16 of 34
ooooh - I'm excited to have found this section of the Mothering forums

DD (10/07) didn't have vit K. She's not had any vax. She was born at a birth center. The doc was surprised/disappointed(?) I'd opted out of abx (GBS+) but wasn't concerned about not having had vit K.

We switched ins from Kaiser to BCBS and selected the most widely known, vax-friendly ped practice I was aware of. Docs were relatively respectful re: our choice to "delay" (I feel like I'm in a constant state of "delaying" as I'm not absolutely certain we won't vax but am by no means ready to get our kids injected). I got a letter signed by the ped for our MW practice as sort of an awareness thing that we were planning to HB. When the ped signed the letter she mentioned that they'd expect vit K, eye ointment (we can say that we, as parents, "gave" that), abx if GBS+, etc. But I sort of figured "what could they do if I didn't do that?" well...

DS (2/09) didn't get vit K at birth (homebirth). At his 2nd-day-of-life checkup the doc was unhappy that I'd not gotten abx (GBS+ again... grrrr) (Birth was "imminent" when the MW arrived so I had a valid excuse for not having had abx.) But we were told he *must* have the vit K. I was sort of surprised but they said it was req'd of their practice. I caved and DS got the shot. I don't see any harm resulting from it but I regret not being better prepared (choosing a different doc!). My kids both had severe issues ("allergy"/bloody stool) resulting in being put on formula and I'm so glad I don't have to wonder if I caused their issues by letting them get vax.

But... anyway, vit K proved to be a bigger deal than I'd anticipated. I don't have any recs. IIRC, maybe alfalfa is a good source? I think my best move is to switch practices if we get pregnant again. Nothing like feeling strongarmed by your peds. I just am bummed b/c we really like them in almost all other ways - and they've been fine with quoting (and recommending) the AAP stance on vax, but letting us choose. Such a bummer.
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
Do you really think that hundreds of years of evolution have just "screwed up" whe it comes to Vitamin K? Logically it does not make sense. Most HDN is medically induced IMO. Premature clamping of the cord, the use of vacuums and forceps. The use of antibiotics which inhibit the formation of Vit K. Please look at this midwife's link about Vit K very informative. http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/vitktop.html
If you have a natural birth with little to no medical intervention, Id say the baby doesn't need anything. If it is a medicalized birth go with the drops ....JMHO
I don't think you need to be so abrasive with you response here...maybe it's just me, but I felt it was.....obviously I am looking into all the 'logic' here or I wouldn't have asked the question. It's also not a matter of evolution to me as I don't personally believe in that theory; at least not most of it. Humans have destroyed the nutrients in our food....so humans do, sadly, need supplementation...Obviously my research will entail just how much does the baby need and what's the best way to go about getting it......I'm thinking at this point, through me...but I will be doing more research....sigh...there's always SOMETHING new to research!
post #18 of 34
It says here that an infant needs 2 mcg/day. A cup of spinach has 145 mcg. Broccoli has even more. If you're BFing, especially if EBFing, I'd eat some green veggies everyday and not worry about it, honestly... I love both broccoli and spinach, so it could just be that I find that easy.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
Do you really think that hundreds of years of evolution have just "screwed up" whe it comes to Vitamin K? Logically it does not make sense. Most HDN is medically induced IMO. Premature clamping of the cord, the use of vacuums and forceps. The use of antibiotics which inhibit the formation of Vit K. Please look at this midwife's link about Vit K very informative. http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/vitktop.html
If you have a natural birth with little to no medical intervention, Id say the baby doesn't need anything. If it is a medicalized birth go with the drops ....JMHO
I think a plausible argument can be made that the vast majority of people consume far too little vitamin K, either K1 or K2--but they do seem to be used differently, so I think looking specifically at K2 is important--compared to the amount we optimally should. The Traditional Foods forum is based partly on the work of Weston Price, an old-timey dentist who theorized that a lot of problems are being caused by a lack of fat soluble vitamins, and one of the most problematic, in terms of too little intake, is K2.
post #20 of 34
(I do vax) but I did not do the Vit K or the eye antibiotics. :dunno: They were unnecessary. I did talk with the OB and if it had been a traumatic birth or if there had been bruising, I would have done the Vit K. It was a very easy birth, so I didn't.

My hospital didn't do Hep B, so I didn't do that, either.
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