I haven't read the other responses yet, but I will say my DH and I were against the Vit K shot at first, but in the end we got it since we were going to circumcise (I know many on here are anti-circ and I respect that but we do it for cultural reasons). Anyway, had we had a girl we would not have gotten the Vit K shot, OR we would have done the drops.
Here is some info on Vit K that my doula mailed out to everyone the other day...
This is some great info on Vitamin K for your baby at birth. I now carry a bottle of Vitamin K oral drops for newborns I purchased at www.PreciousArrows.com
. You only need 6 drops so if you are a parent, sell the bottle to a friend when you are done or back to a midwife/birth assistant. 2 drops at birth, 2 drops at 10 days old, 2 drops at 30 days old. Most babies, though, don’t need any Vitamin K supplementation at all. The baby will get plenty through mom’s breastmilk especially if she is eating foods high in Vitamin K like green leafy vegetables and maybe also taking an alfalfa supplement. If your baby has a traumatic birth, your baby might need supplementation as usually there is a bruise on the baby’s head that you don’t want to continue to bleed and cause pressure on the brain. Other than that, you might not need the Vitamin K supplementation. Also, it should be known that synthetic Vitamin K shots have also been shown to increase the chance of leukemia in children – one study found it to be an 80% increase. Do your own research and talk to your providers! Here is a good article about that - http://thebabybond.com/VitaminKinjectORnot.html
If you opt for Vitamin K oral drops, you must buy and administer them yourselves and decline the Vitamin K shot that your provider carries (few carry the drops for oral administration especially hospital births).
Those who may choose circumcision for your sons, should not do so in-hospital at the normal Day 2 or Day 3 of life but wait until your baby boy is at least 8-10 days old if not a few weeks old as the Vitamin K levels are higher then. You can take baby back and do the procedure as an outpatient surgery with an obstetrician or use a mohel (even if you are not religious). I know everyone chooses to do things differently when it comes to circumcision so I’m not advocating for or against it here but giving you proper Vitamin K info should you choose to do so. Waiting should decrease risks of hemorrhaging but this is certainly not always the case. Severe hemorrhaging and even death can occur with circumcision so know your risks well and talk to your provider about this important decision, too. But I do think it is important to know for those of you who do wait to do the surgery til Day 8/10 or weeks later, that taking the oral drops would be a good idea to help avoid hemorrhaging.
I hope this helps all of you having babies soon or in the near future! http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/...vitamin-k.html
Newborn Vitamin K Injections
What is it?
In the United States, the practice of newborn vitamin k injections has become almost universal. However, this routine newborn procedure is unique to the US and is controversial in other nations. This practice was born (pun intended) during the hospital age of routine separation of mothers from their babes, before rooming-in was an accepted practice.
Why is this done?
The rationale for newborn vitamin K injection at birth is that newborns are born with a "deficiency" of vitamin K. This perceived "deficiency" can lead to decreased clotting ability of the blood, that can leave the newborn more susceptible to hemorrhage. The risk is quite small, only about 1 in 200, but it does exist. The following factors increase risk of hemorrhage in newborns:
Risk Factors for Cerebral Hemorrhage
· Precipitous Labor
· Prolonged Labor
· Significant Fetal Head Molding
· Birth Trauma
· Forceps Delivery
· Vacuum Extraction
· Variable Heart Decelerations in Late Labor
Points to Ponder on Routine Injection
While newborn vitamin K injection may sound like an acceptable intervention, there are several points to ponder.
1. The amount of Vit K injected is 20,000 times the needed dose. Yes, I kid you not. 20,000 times. Additionally, the injection may also contain preservatives which are known toxins to the infant.
2. Large doses of Vit K are a cause of jaundice in the newborn. A "cure" for one perceived ailment then becomes the cause of another.
3. Colostrum, which precedes breastmilk, is rich in Vit K. Thus, an infant who is breastfed immediately at birth will receive a natural source of Vit K, in most cases significantly raising the Vit K level.
4. Vit K is typically designed to be absorbed by the gut from foods we eat. However, the injection is an intramuscular one, which bypasses the gut and delivers the Vit K in a way the body wasn't designed to receive.
5. Birth is an overwhelming sensory experience for the baby - it has never before been cold, hungry, been blinded by light, felt the touch of cloth or the pull of gravity. Sticking a needle into its body and inflicting pain isn't the best way to allow the sensory system to gradually adjust to the outside world. Not a very warm welcome, is it?
6. Subconsciously, it sends the message that nature is inadequate, that medical interventions are are necessary to save us from ourselves.
1. Request an oral dose rather than an injection.
This eliminates the overdose and lessens the risk of hemorrhage and jaundice, as well as the pain of the injection and exposure to harmful preservatives. Also, the Vit K is absorbed through the gut, as it was intended to be. While this may seem like an easy solution, be sure to discuss this option first with your care provider. Since hospitals are accustomed to standard operating procedure, it can be difficult for them to correctly determine the oral dosage for your infant. We personally had to wait for several hours while the correct dose was determined. To give the hospital the benefit of the doubt here, our daughter was born on a weekend, which means that less staff is available and even simple procedures take longer than usual.
2. Nurse immediately after the birth with no supplementation given.
3. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, load your diet with foods rich in Vit K.
While this hasn't been shown to improve newborn vitamin K levels, it has been shown to increase the amount of Vit K in breastmilk.
By following these simple solutions, you can receive the benefits of an accurate newborn vitamin K dose while avoiding all the negatives of an injection. It's too easy a solution for the medical establishment to consider it.
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Vitamin K - An Alternative Perspective. Midwife Sara Wickham provides a much-needed update on vitamin K prophylaxis. AIMS Journal, Summer 2001, Vol 13 No 2