Originally Posted by Mamabeakley
If I had a birth that I felt was traumatic for the baby physiologically, or a baby who would be dealing with many medical procedures right away, I would consider the injected vitamin K. Otherwise, I don't see the need as long as I am fully breastfeeding.
Originally Posted by kaliki_kila
I also believe in the virgin gut theory and worry about the oral vitamin K interfering with that. Right now, I am leaning towards the injection. I have read that even if you load up on Vitamin K foods before delivery, not enough makes it into your breast milk to be effective.
I posted this link because I think it covers a lot of the issues involved. Colostrum does in fact have a substantially higher level of vitamin K for baby. Baby should have access as much as possible (which we know over the decades has been an issue due to hospital practices, etc.) to the breast immediately after birth.
Vitamin K content and availability are greater in the hind milk because of its higher fat content and vitamin K levels are also higher in colostrum.32 As an extra plus, breastmilk contains thromboplastin, one of the factors in blood clotting.18
Vitamin K levels in the breastmilk rise markedly in response to the mother eating vitamin K rich foods or taking vitamin K supplements.29, 54 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
I think that there is definitely an unknown risk involved...both oral and injectible give baby 300 to 900x higher plasma levels of vitamin K than that of an adult. I think in this case medical science is sort of progressing forward with their own thinking until they are proven otherwise. However those studies on potentially increased cancer risks are concerned. Several European countries have protocol where they use a small daily oral dose that doesn't raise plasma levels high above normal for this. However, it seems from reading the research that as long as mom makes sure she has adequate levels of vitamin K AND baby has full and free access to the breast after birth that baby should have good plasma levels of vitamin K.
That makes complete sense to me, because physiologically it doesn't make sense that somehow babies born in a natural state and treated naturally and instinctively as they should be would be somehow deficient in a necessary nutrient.
Four past births here, no vitamin K just tons of boob and I did make sure to have adequate sources or supplements of vitamin K as well.