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<p>Hi- I just joined recently and have been reading so many informative posts!  I'm due April 29th with a girl- I have two boys who are 4 and 6 so this is such a blessing!  I have a question for y'all:  I've been reading about the birth plans and a lot of you have written that you will be refusing the vitamin K shot for the baby.  I understand about the Hep B shot, but I'm wondering what the issue is with the vitamin shot.  I've already decided to put this baby on a delayed and selected vaccine schedule- I really wish I had done that with my boys as they both have immune issues such as asthma and allergies which I can't say for sure was caused by the vaccines but there's enough evidence for me to suspect there may be a link.  Anyway, I want to do everything I can to protect this baby from having future problems so that's why I wondering if there's any health issues linked to the vitamin K shots.  Thanks in advance for your help!</p>
 

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<p><span style="font-size:12px;">Yay for girls! I was so happy when my girl was born (I have two boys and a girl).</span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;">I decided against the Vitamin K shot for a few different reasons.</span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;">First of all, Vitamin K is given to reduce the chances of newborn hemorrhagic disease, specifically bleeding in the brain, which can be deadly or cause brain damage. 1 in 17,000 babies will get hemorrhagic disease between two and twelve weeks (this is generally considered to be low risk).</span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;">Not all babies are at the same risk for this disease. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">Newborns with increased risk of hemorrhagic disease include:</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">If the mother has been treated with anticoagulants, antiseizure medications, or antibiotics during her pregnancy</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">Women who have used extremely excessive amounts of Vitamin E, aspirin, mineral oil, alcohol, or have been exposed to rat poison.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">The reason Vitamin K is given is that it promotes coagulation of the blood, although we are not sure how it works as it is not a clotting agent.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">For me, an important consideration was that babies, and most mammals, are born with extremely low levels of Vitamin K. We don’t know why we are born with low levels of Vitamin K—there may be a very good reason and we just haven’t figured out yet</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;">There is some speculation that Vitamin K supplements may increase risk for leukemia and other cancers in children.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;">There are high percentages of newborn jaundice in infants who have received Vitamin K--this may be an indicator of an adverse affect on the liver or gall bladder.</span></span></p>
<p><br><span style="font-size:12px;">It's also interesting to note that c<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">olostrum, the first fluid a breastfeeding infant receives from her mother for three to four days, is quite rich in Vitamin K. I wonder if the risk of hemorrhagic disease is even lower for infants who are exclusively breastfed, and who breastfeed well within the first few hours/days after birth? I don't think any research has been done on this.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:12px;">Natural alternatives to a Vitamin K shot would include breastfeeding, and you can also reduce the risk by a<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:arial, sans-serif;line-height:19px;">voiding the substances that create increased risk, and eating a nutritious prenatal diet with plenty of Vitamin K rich foods: green vegetables, alfalfa, kelp, green tea, and dairy products.</span></span></p>
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<p>Of course, every parent has to weigh the risks and benefits of any particular treatment for themselves, given their own unique circumstances. In my case, I had a healthy diet, wasn't in a higher risk category based on my exposure to substances etc., and thought the risk was low enough and the unknowns of the treatment great enough that I preferred to avoid the intervention.</p>
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<p>Hope that helps!</p>
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<p>Asheya Hennessey</p>
<p>Mom of Elias (2006), Eowyn (2008), Amadeus (2009)</p>
 
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