Vitamin K at birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We didn't do it. Our midwife said it wasn't necessary, but after reading this I'm not so sure. Thoughts?

http://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-the-vitamin-k-shot-in-newborns/
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#2 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 06:56 PM
 
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I don't like that there is a whole lot of uncertainty to the article

Quote:

Although this amount may seem high to some, it is thought that the Vitamin K1 injection is temporarily stored in the leg muscle and gradually released into the baby’s system over the next several months.

They don't even understand the mechanisms for how it is stored and used yet they arbitrarily picked a dosage to inject that is 4x higher than that originally used, successfully, in 1944.  It's fat soluble and therefore too much in the body can become toxic since you don't flush it out the same way you do water soluble vitamins like C.

 

And the preservative free variety? Propylene Glycol....yummy.

 

Also, it's one huge poster for formula feeding along with this lovely contradiction:

Quote:

The shot is absorbed more easily than the oral version.

So...on the one hand they tell you vit k is basically poorly absorbed orally, but on the other hand:

Quote:

There are virtually no reports of VKDB occurring in infants who are formula fed. This is because in contrast to breast milk, formula has relatively high levels of Vitamin K1—55 micrograms per liter (Shearer 2009).

On average, babies who are fed formula receive nearly 10 times more Vitamin K1 than babies who are breastfed (45.4 micrograms per day compared to 0.55 micrograms per day).

Basically formula is "better"...

 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not anti medical intervention when necessary, but there has to be some scientific/biological reason for why babies are born with lower levels and why breast milk contains lower levels.  That's the question no one is asking - probably because it  assumes we're not born broken and don't always need science to step in and rescue us.  There very well may be other underlying factors such as blood disorders in these children which could also affect clotting.

 

It's not compelling me to consider k for future kiddos - DD had what could be considered a traumatic birth with pit and no pain meds so very forceful pushing - breastfed, no k, no issues.

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#3 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Sassy. Was impatiently waiting for someone smarter than me to come debunk it.
I also read somewhere that the elderly have lower vitamin K levels. I just find it hard to believe that Mother Nature would do that for no reason.
The reason I started "listening" to the article was that 2 of the 5 cases were home births. I would assume that all hb midwives would know to let the umbilical cord finish pulsing and thereby letting all the stem cells out to repair any damage, before cutting it.
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#4 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 07:35 PM
 
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Not smarter, just spent lots of time on here learning how to do it right haha!  I saw the homebirth thing in there and immediately my brain tracked to *underlying medical issue* and regardless of hospital or home it probably would have happened anyways.  I had an ok hospital birth with a midwife, nothing done to DD, just me with pit and penicillin, but my next time around I'm totally looking at home birth.  If my midwife said I had some sort of risk factor, then I'd probably opt for the oral to play it safe, but as it stands I'm not a carrier for any metabolic or hemolytic diseases and DH has none we're aware of so at best (worst?) our kids might end up carriers if he's got something hiding in his genome and I'd skip circ if we had a boy so there's nothing for us that screams out "get the k"!

 

I don't like the answer "we don't know so we do it to everyone"...not good enough for me, not good enough for my kid.  I'd rather not do it and deal with repercussions than do it and wonder.  Also, I know the leukemia thing is a hot topic, but all of those studies were comparing kids who received k (because after 1999 it was standard) and rates of cancer/no cancer.  You can't do that - it's like comparing one vaccine to another, there is no baseline.  They would need to compare kids with no vit k shot to kids who did get it and the cancer rates among them.  So I can't entirely rule that one out because it's still an unknown.  And because cancer is so tricky and not really a one thing triggers it all, the vit k could be THE trigger for some, or more likely it's one of many things that eventually lead the body down that path.

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#5 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 07:59 PM
 
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Most babies are born vitamin K deficient because nature never intended for them to be poked and prodded for medical screening tests or circumcised the first day of life. Babies are supposed to be cuddled, fed, nursed, loved and observed by the parents in the first days of life, not treated like a pin cushion.  Vitamin K makes the medical procedures possible while the baby is in the hospital and the staff can do their job with your newborn.   Vitamin K is made in the gut when the baby eats/drinks breastmilk and then the clotting factor rises and bleeding is not an issue by the eighth day of life when the ancients allowed circumcision and the baby would live.

 

There is a hemmorhagic disease that affects 1 in  10,000 which would require the vitamin K shot, the rate same as the PKU, the blood sugar test, and the thyroid test that hospitals test for now.   You can refuse all of it, and the hospital should not do anything without your written permission.

 

OR, have a home birth. A woman is Queen in her own home.


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#6 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Sassy and Apple. I'm so glad you weighed in. I know in my gut that our decisions are right, but every so often I start to question everything and it means the world to be able to turn to you.
I did have a home birth and I'm eternally grateful to my midwife for educating us on vaccines and for not giving the vitamin K or eye stuff.
Apple, is it correct to assume that the reason newborns have thinner blood is so that the stem cells can easily get around to fix any damage that may have occurred during labor? For example, if the head got a little squished and there's some bleeding, they umbilical cord blood can take care if it?

Sassy, i sincerely hope you're right about the not just being smarter, haha. I'm not very science minded and I rely heavily on others to interpret the research that I read (also kinda sleep deprived, so that doesn't help) I'm really trying to get my stuff together so that one day I'll feel more confident about discussing the vaccine issue, even just with myself. You ladies are very good at piecing the information from various sources together and seeing things that would otherwise be hidden. Thank you for sharing with the rest if us.
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#7 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 10:31 PM
 
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No one really knows why a newborn is born with little clotting factor, but that can be said to be one reason. I have to believe that nature knows best or we would not have evolved after all these many millenia and survived as a species without -
vitamin K shots,
eye drops,
hep B shot,
PKU screening,
blood sugar screening,
thyroid screening. 

Look at that list. That is ridiculous.  Vitamin K shots are the main cause of neonatal jaundice which has problems of its own for the newborn in the form of bilirubin lights and dehydration.

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#8 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 01:46 AM
 
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Most infants have enough vitamin K at birth to prevent deficiency. Around 1% of infants do not - this is the nature of variation in the human population. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell whether infants have enough vitamin K to prevent deficiency bleeding. People who do not give the shots run a small chance that their infant will be affected by a preventable and serious condition. This recent report from the CDC outlines four cases in Tennessee where infants developed vitamin K deficiency bleeding. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6245a4.htm?s_cid=mm6245a4_x 

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#9 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 05:51 AM
 
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I recommend what Hilary Butlter has to say on this in relation to premature cord clamping, fetal stem cells and breast feeding, it is fascinating stuff. Here is a snippet: 

 

Quote:
The medical profession however, has this strange idea that the very thin blood which babies naturally have in the first 7 days, must be "abnormal" because it's not like adult blood, so they give vitamin K at birth. 

The problem is that this vitamin K raises the vitamin K levels much higher than in adults.   Since 1985, the medical profession has known that oral vitamin K raises blood levels 300 - 4,000 times higher.  The injectable vitamin K, results in vitamin K levels 9,000 times thicker than adults blood. Why?  Because the medical profession says that baby blood is deficient of vitamin K which makes the blood not clot properly and can cause haemorrhages.  God didn't know what he was doing.  So vitamin K is given, to "thicken" up a baby's blood.
Quote:
Baby's blood thickened with vitamin K, causes a situation where stem cells have to move through sludge, not nicely greased blood vessels full of blood which can allow stem cells easy acess to anywhere. Maybe one day it will dawn on the medical profession that not only are cord blood stem cells important and useful to the newborn baby, but that stem cells need thin blood for a reason.

 

http://beyondconformity.org.nz/BlogRetrieve.aspx?PostID=302310&A=SearchResult&SearchID=6053929&ObjectID=302310&ObjectType=55

 

More results here.


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#10 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahh yes, Mirzam. That's where I read it. Thanks for reminding me.
I believe in some states or hospitals they will
Call CPS if you refuse the shot for your baby.
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#11 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 06:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaNYC View Post

Ahh yes, Mirzam. That's where I read it. Thanks for reminding me.
I believe in some states or hospitals they will
Call CPS if you refuse the shot for your baby.

Well, there's another reason to avoid hospital birth. If you can't, then be very careful which hospital and medical team you choose to deliver your baby.

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#12 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby was a home birth and any subsequent babies will be as well.
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#13 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 12:14 PM
 
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I generally respect Rebecca Dekker's presentations  (I feel that she presents evidence vs opinion) as she is a very sound researcher who does her own combing through the literature.  I think the most important thing here is INFORMED consent (or refusal).


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My other thought to echo some of the questions above related to Vitamin K in breastmilk too.  Perhaps Mom is not consuming/absorbing adequate vitamin K (even if you eat a high K diet-there are variations in an individual's ability to absorb the vitamin) as in the case of vitamin D--new research has shown that when mom has adequate sun exposure (=adequate vitamin D stores) or adequate intake (from supplements) that vitamin D IS transferred via breastmilk (vs previously being told that breastmilk is a poor source of vitamin D) and it's a great source.  There is still so much we don't know about nutrition!!


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#15 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 12:25 PM
 
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Following... we have always refused and probably will again.

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#16 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 12:59 PM
 
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This is going to be an issue here soon. We did the oral Vit K. I had no objection with DD1. When DD2 came along she vomitted the stuff right back out and she had a prolonged case of jaundice which I attribute to the oral Vit K. Now with the 3rd one due soon I was looking into smaller oral amounts of Vit K. given daily instead of the 3 doses that are usually given just to play it safe. I have read Hilary Butler and other pieces on Vit K and am still so undecided knowing that it will also depend on the birth itself. This is one tough decision to make.

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#17 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 01:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaNYC View Post

We didn't do it. Our midwife said it wasn't necessary, but after reading this I'm not so sure. Thoughts?

http://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-the-vitamin-k-shot-in-newborns/

Stellanyc- if you are in ny, can you send me your midwife's info? I am looking for a midwife.
About the vitamin k, my DD had it at birth. It's mandatory in my local hospitals, so there was no point in worrying about it. I have heard of some people doing drops, but it wasn't an option for us. I agree it isn't necessary, but probably does save some babies.
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#18 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stellanyc- if you are in ny, can you send me your midwife's info? I am looking for a midwife.
About the vitamin k, my DD had it at birth. It's mandatory in my local hospitals, so there was no point in worrying about it. I have heard of some people doing drops, but it wasn't an option for us. I agree it isn't necessary, but probably does save some babies.

She only does home births
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#19 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
 My other thought to echo some of the questions above related to Vitamin K in breastmilk too.  Perhaps Mom is not consuming/absorbing adequate vitamin K (even if you eat a high K diet-there are variations in an individual's ability to absorb the vitamin)

 

Yes, there is much that we do not know about nutrition.  I believe there is a reason that babies are born deficient in vitamin K and giving them vitamin K before they make their own disrupts some process in the baby's adjustment to extra-uterine life that we still do not understand.   The protocol is to just go right ahead and poke them all with vitamin K to save 1/10000.

 

I DO KNOW that doctors give fluoride drops to moms to give to their breastfed babies.  Why do they do that? Because if a mother takes extra fluoride to give to her baby in her breastmilk, the breastmilk does not deliver it.  Breastmilk is naturally deficient in fluoride.  The breastmilk will protect the baby from excess fluoride; therefore nature will protect the baby when the baby is breastfed even if the mother is too "uninformed" and takes the fluoride drops for herself and the baby.

 

Breastmilk is smart.

 

There are pediatricians that will recommend that mothers stop breastfeeding for a while after vaccinating because it interferes with the immune process.


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#20 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StellaNYC View Post

She only does home births

Would love a home birth, but my home is too far from a good hospital for my comfort level
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#21 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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I was reading about nutrition recently because my DD fell a bit down the growth curve. I recall one document (maybe from USDA?) mentioning that breastmilk is low in vitamin K, so they give the vitamin K shot to every baby in case they will be breastfed. It didn't mention if the low vitamin K levels were due to the mother's diet.
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#22 of 25 Old 03-19-2014, 05:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonmom10 View Post

I was reading about nutrition recently because my DD fell a bit down the growth curve. I recall one document (maybe from USDA?) mentioning that breastmilk is low in vitamin K, so they give the vitamin K shot to every baby in case they will be breastfed. It didn't mention if the low vitamin K levels were due to the mother's diet.

This is a long and very through article on Vitamin K.

 

http://www.vaclib.org/basic/vitamin-k.htm

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#23 of 25 Old 03-20-2014, 01:13 PM
 
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One of the few shots my daughter ever got was the vitamin K in the hospital shortly after her birth.

My midwife (who is respectful of delayed/ no vax) suggested we do the vitamin K because of some health complications related to her prematurity. I was so frazzled at the moment we made the decision to give her the vitamin K, so I cannot recall what the exact reasons were.

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#24 of 25 Old 03-20-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preemieprincess View Post
 

One of the few shots my daughter ever got was the vitamin K in the hospital shortly after her birth.

My midwife (who is respectful of delayed/ no vax) suggested we do the vitamin K because of some health complications related to her prematurity. I was so frazzled at the moment we made the decision to give her the vitamin K, so I cannot recall what the exact reasons were.


If your daughter was pre-mature, then of course, vitamin K was a conservative prophyllatic call against further health problems.

 

MY PROBLEM is giving this shot to every single baby born whether or not they need it. Giving vitamin K to every single newborn is NOT without its complications and problems as neonatal jaundice, a well-known condition caused by excessive vitamin K, followed by bilirubin lights followed by dehydration followed by ... you name it! 

For your daughter, being a preemie, and I do not know how early she was, increases her odds of having neonatal jaundice as her little preemie liver is too immature to clear all of that bilirubin from her system. I do not know if your little baby girl needed any invasive treatments, but the vitamin K would have facilitated those to help her grow and live.   My own son was 13 days early, no vitamin K shot, born at home, but he had some neonatal jaundice that cleared with the spring sunshine and extra water.  He is an adult today!  It worked!

 

Hope your little one is doing well. I do not know your story.


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#25 of 25 Old 05-06-2014, 06:35 PM
 
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Im so glad I found this thread. I just read this article last night ( recommended by a poster on another blog when I posted concern and resources about the Oral Vit K) and the article seemed so weird to me! Glad I'm not the only one who thought it was a bit strange. 

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