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Mothering › Groups › November 2011 Due Date Club › Discussions › Are you giving vitamin K?

Are you giving vitamin K?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I get all confused about this issue and I just can't decide whether to go with vit K or not.

 

As far as I know, vit K prevents an extremely rare life-threatening illness in newborns.  The illness is much more likely if the baby has had a lot of bruising eg through a traumatic assisted birth.  So if my baby is born normally then I'm not sure that it's really required.  To add to that, I think sticking a needle into a newborn is just a horrble way to welcome them to the world.  Oral doses are available but I don't believe that receiving a nasty-tasting fluid will be a very pleasant oral experience for a baby just learning to breastfeed.  Additionally, repeat oral doses are required and I am sure that our hospital will make these as inconvenient for us as possible.

 

I let my dd have a vit K injection after birth and I recall that the midwives took pains to make sure we gave our consent.  I also recall that she cried for a bit but soon calmed down, though I was pretty hazy after the birth.  I was all dead set to refuse it for this baby, but now I'm having second thoughts.  What are everyone else's feelings on this issue?  I just need to think it through with some other well-informed people.

post #2 of 22

Personally, I'm only doing vit k if the birth is traumatic. I'm taking alfalfa right now to help boost baby's natural k stores. I consented to it with my DD but her birth was very traumatic.

post #3 of 22

I have a syringe of vit K in my birth kit. I wouldn't have ordered it, but a friend did and didn't use it and gave me all her leftover birth stuff. She ordered it just in case baby had a lot of bruising or a really molded head at birth or some kind of trauma. I didn't even order it with my last birth, but if there is any trauma we'll use it.

 

I know some people also prefer to supplement mom's diet with  vitamin K the first few weeks. You can take a supplement (not sure for how long/how much/etc) or I've also heard of nursing moms taking alfalfa. (Don't just go with that - I'm pretty sure that's what it is, though.)

post #4 of 22

I will do one dose (you're supposed to do two) of the oral vitamin-k.  I only do it because my babies need to have their tongues clipped shortly after birth and my pediatrician requires it.  Other than that I would probably do it if the birth was traumatic.

post #5 of 22

Yes, we do Vitamin k (Injectable)

post #6 of 22
post #7 of 22

We do vitamin K. I researched it quite a bit with my last pregnancy and there just wasn't enough risk to convince me not to do it. There are times when it is needed and you may not know it's needed until it's too late. Yes, it's rare, but considering there is no evidence so far of it being harmful in any way, it's worth it to me. 

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Maybe as a compromise I'll look into the oral vit K.  That other thread was very useful - thanks Jaimee.  Eye ointment and hep B vaccination are thankfully not standard care in the UK.  The only thing our babies get after birth is the vit K, and the heel prick for PKU and some other diseases is done by a midwife, at home, a few days later.

 

Last time around I tried to get oral vit K but my midwife told me my GP had to prescribe it (because I was having a home birth), and he had no idea what to prescribe and so I seemed to hit a brick wall.  Maybe worth another try eyesroll.gif

post #9 of 22

No we're not doing vit k, my MW actually said she's only had a few parents even want it, so she carries the oral vit k, and says its up to me.  I dont feel it is necessary, and I feel that babies being born without the clotting factor (for the first 8 days) is not a defect of nature.  I also think about the fact that the vit K supp has only been used in babies for a short amount of time so first off there is not any long term research, and second we have all survived very well up til this point without having it!

In the event of an extremely traumatic birth, I would consider it, but would have to have good reason to do so.

 

Here is a link with a little info http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/newborn-decisions?page=0,0  and http://mothering.com/alternatives-vitamin-k


Edited by 1love4ever - 10/8/11 at 3:13pm
post #10 of 22

I wanted to come back and add that my MW only recommends the vitamin K for boy babies who are going to be circumcised, which she obviously also recommends against. Other than that, she will give it if parents want it, but she doesn't find it necessary.

post #11 of 22

Has anyone read the article mentioned at the bottom of the 2nd link I posted above?  It is the most informative vitamin K article I've ever read!  Here it is http://www.vaclib.org/basic/vitamin-k.htm

post #12 of 22

 

 

Quote:

"Nishiguchi found no cases of low vitamin K levels in breastfed infants whose mothers had been given supplements, as opposed to infants who had only been given 1 or 2 doses of oral vitamin K.54

 

Unrestricted access to the breast in the early days after birth is important, due to the higher levels of vitamin K in colostrum. The importance of early feeding has been recognised since the 1940's. Babies who have been fed within their first 24 hours have significantly better coagulation times than babies not fed until after 24 hours.24

 

It is essential that, to receive the full complement of vitamin K in breastmilk, the baby completely finishes one breast before being offered the other. Any practice that involves restricting either the baby's time at the breast or the number of feeds will not allow the baby to receive optimum amounts of vitamin K and will also prolong the time it takes for the baby's intestine to be colonised by friendly, vitamin K manufacturing bacteria."

 

So it sounds like a healthy, term baby who is breastfed on demand is actually better off with mom supplementing than with the shot?

 

 

 

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by meesh933View Post

 

So it sounds like a healthy, term baby who is breastfed on demand is actually better off with mom supplementing than with the shot?

 

It certainly sounds that way to me! 

I also read the article that is mentioned at the top of the last link that I provided, the shortened version of that article, and I liked that one a lot.  I forwarded it to some friends.  I think a lot of people would not have the time or patience to read the entire article in that last link because it is long so I like the short one a lot:)

Here is the link to the shortened version http://www.proliberty.com/observer/19990710.htm  I highly recommend it!

post #14 of 22

I find what you quoted from the article very interesting, because with my first she was born in the hospital and I didnt know a lot about anything so I listened a lot to what nurses and Drs had to say.  I got her the shot of course :(  But anyway, the nurses told me to make sure she ate off of each breast at each feeding and even if she was not done with one breast just break her latch and switch her to the other one.  The lactation consultant for the hospital that came and visited me said the same thing!  I tried it for a few days and found that it just was not working for me so I just let her finish one breast before going to the other.  Often times one of them would be all she would need, so most feedings it was just one breast and she got all of the hindmilk.  I was also told by her pediatrician not to feed her any more often than every 3 hours even if she wanted it because I would be over feeding her and make her too fat!  Seriously?  I did not listen and I quit seeing that ped.  The biggest thing I have learned from being a mom is just to listen to your body and your baby, and dont even bother listening to other people even a Dr(in the correct situation such as this one).  Had I been smart and chosen not to give the K shot, but had listened to what the "experts" were telling me about breastfeeding, DD could have had problems!  It just really goes to show, IMO, that the "experts" maybe arnt as informed as you think they are.  I truely believe that you and your body and your baby are the "experts".  Just like with birth, your body knows what to do, so let it do its job and dont interfere with the process, it is the expert:)   I guess that is how I see the vitamin K thing too, I think there is a reason that babies are born without a lot of K, I dont think it is just a mistake of nature.  I also dont think the foreskin is a mistake of nature, but many people think that these things ought to be messed with, changed, modified, "improved".  I think that nature knows what its doing and it would not allow every human ever born to be born with a defect that needs medical correction.

post #15 of 22

I plan on winging this one.  If baby is born before 38 weeks then definitely yes- if after 38 weeks I will see how birth goes.  I have a history of blood loss/bleeding problems, so I have always leaned towards yes. 

 

The linked article is VERY informative, thanks for sharing!

post #16 of 22

I'm curious about whether or not just increasing my Vitamin K intake from natural food sources will be enough to protect my baby from any danger? I've been making a large green smoothie every day with banana, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple, and a bunch of kale. I've read that kale contains a very high amount of Vitamin K, so I'd think I'm set! I'd rather ingest it naturally than give my baby a shot that has such a high concentration of synthetic K in it. I need to discuss this with my midwife tomorrow at my checkup. I want to have a decision made about this before the baby is born! I really don't know which way to go right now. eyesroll.gif This is all new to me.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

I'm curious about whether or not just increasing my Vitamin K intake from natural food sources will be enough to protect my baby from any danger? I've been making a large green smoothie every day with banana, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple, and a bunch of kale. I've read that kale contains a very high amount of Vitamin K, so I'd think I'm set! I'd rather ingest it naturally than give my baby a shot that has such a high concentration of synthetic K in it. I need to discuss this with my midwife tomorrow at my checkup. I want to have a decision made about this before the baby is born! I really don't know which way to go right now. eyesroll.gif This is all new to me.

Kale has LOTS of vitamin K  http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=38&tname=foodspice   Did you read any of the articles that I posted links to?  I think you will be able to make your own decision after reading them.  I would say yes, for a healthy full term baby simply increasing your intake of vitamin K would be enough to protect your baby.  Also your prenatal should have vitamin K in it as well.  Are you taking a whole foods based prenatal?
 

 

post #18 of 22

nope, not getting it.  we do lots of leafy greens and iḿ taking alfalfa pills, so I think itś a non-issue really.  Human being bodies naturally lack clotting factor/VitK until about 8 days of life--Iḿ inclined to NOT take that as a dangerous freak-mistake, yk?

 

the docs and LCs might have advocated switch nursing from the start as a way to encourage milk production even more--esp. since you had gotten the vitK shot, i bet thatś what they focus on instead of the natural cycle of things.  Le sigh.

post #19 of 22

Not doing it. I was bullied into it with my first and that just annoyed me. My second didn't have it--and I had a very traumatic labor with her.

post #20 of 22

my first birth was a homebirth transport, and I know we rocked the boat and refused everything in the hospital. so while I don't recall specifically, I'm sure she didn't receive Vitamin K.

 

but for my son's homebirth, I was planning to compromise with my midwife and use the oral. She had had personal experience with a baby with a traumatic birth who had Vitamin K deficiency issues and was strongly in favor of the shot. however, after my son was born with a lot of bruising around his giant head, she talked me into the shot. I sort of regret giving in.

 

My midwife this time around has a botanical based oral which is her preference and I'm comfortable with that.

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