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Well, my MW is extremely accomodating when it comes to what I want done to/for my baby. Which is lovely. Except that now I have to decide what I want to do. I've come to my conclusions about the PKU/metabolic screens pretty easily, but am having trouble figuring out vit. K.<br><br>
So...<br><br>
Is there a health reason NOT to have the vit. K drops or shots? Or are we simply worried about pain?<br><br>
And...she is recommending we do the drops, because I'm not liking the idea of the shot and the two mom/baby pairs she has experience with who ended up having problems here (problems due to not having vit. K shots, resolved after IV treatment) both fit my profile exactly. Is there any reason I should object to this?
 

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I am trying to decide this as well. I will not do the injection as it is a synthetic form of Vit. K and due to the trauma of the shot. The reason I would not do the oral is that even if it is a naturally derived vitamin source, perhaps there is a good reason that a baby's Vit. K is low. I believe in as little interference w/ the natural process as possible, including so called natural supplements. However, perhaps due to poor nutrition and environmental toxins over the past few generations in this country, some of us have evolved to need this extra supplementation at birth. Hmmm....In the end, I think I will give it because ultimately, any potential risks from the supplementation seem insignificant as far as we can tell. I would also love to hear about others' thought processes on this subject.
 

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I opted not to give vit. K in any form... I was reading up on it, and don't remember the source, but what I read was along the lines of...<br><br>
Saying that all babies are born deficient of vit K and should be supplemented is like saying all babies are tiny and should be given growth hormones.<br><br>
That wasn't really what it said, but along those lines. They're holding newborn babies up to a standard that doesn't necessarily apply. There is likely a reason babies are born with lower levels of vit. K. Mother Nature usually isn't all that wrong!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nikirj</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is there a health reason NOT to have the vit. K drops or shots?</div>
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I've heard it can cause dangerous clotting. There's a whole bunch of links & stuff about it here: <a href="http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/vitktop.html" target="_blank">http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/vitktop.html</a> . I read it a long time ago, can't remember everything it said.<br><br>
Also, I recall someone suggesting on the circ topic here a while ago that the main reason it was started was so that boys being circ'ed wouldn't bleed as much. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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there was another recent discussion on vit k and eye drops. The discussion on vit K might be something you would want to read-<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=216716" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=216716</a>
 

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All babies start making thier own vit k within days after birth anyway. (breastfed babies, maybe part of why it was given also had to do with formula?) Its given because it helps blood clot and became the "norm" when forceps were the norm and forceps caused a lot of brain bleeds. If theres no risk of bleeding, you dont really need it. Ive read that its associated with much higher rates of jaundice and even childhood luekimia. For those reasons, I wont be doing it, unless he has some trauma at birth and therefore the risks of the trauma outweigh the risks of the vitamin K. If all is normal, I just dont think he needs it. You just have to weigh what you think the risks are of your baby having any type of bleeding at birth against the risks of the vitamin k and then decide. Also, my mw says a lot of peds wont even see a child that didnt have it, so you may want to factor that in. Though Im of themind that if my ped has a problem, its his and I'll go elsewhere. But still, if you really like your ped and its really imp. to him/her that might affect your decision.<br><br>
The eyedrops are another prevention, to protect against gonerreah, but if youdont have that, why do you need the drops that blur vision and burn eyes? Plus research has NOT shown any actual benefit or lower infection rate amonth exposed babies that had the drops.<br><br>
And the pku test is known not to be valid until baby is couple weeks old anyway. So why do they even do it at birth?<br><br>
Ok, ok, sorry, off the soapbox...........
 

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The PKU test can save lives . . . .<br><br>
I know several little babes with positive PKU testing in the first week (results back at less than 1 week old) who's brain development now continues on a normal course thanks to this test. Waiting 2 weeks would have put these babes at significant risk . . .<br><br>
Not all of the tests done on the PKU are unnecessary and some don't depend at all on the status of feeding.<br><br><br>
And, the two babies I am thinking of had absolutley no known risk factors for a nonfunctioning thyroid gland. This causes a condition known, unfortunately, as cretinism and can be absolutley prevented by supplementing with thyroid hormone ASAP (ideally in he first week, after that you begin to see the harmful develpomental effects), before any damage has occurred.<br><br>
I do not wish to tell anyone what they should or should not do. Just understand fully the risks associated with any choice you make. It is easy to hear the down side to screening . . but there is a very real benefit for some . . . and you never know if it might be your family who benefits.<br><br>
FWIW, I nursed DD through the heel prick, after insisting that they wrap a warm wrap around her heel first for 10 minutes . . and she didn't make a peep. The nurses wanted to tell me that I couldn't be there when they did the test but knowing my rights as her mama, I refused to be separated from her for even a minute. Afterwards, they told me that that had been the easiest test of the day! Mamas milk is a terrific!
 

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Oops!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"><br><br>
Wrong thread . . .. . sorry folks! You all were talking about your babes and the vit K shot vs oral vit K . . .. .<br><br>
Sorry to intrude . . . . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt">
 

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Vita K shots....<br><br>
This is what I choose to do with my babies since they are born by csection. I realy researched this one before my last baby and decided that it was best to do it since my babies are really manipulated out of the uterus. I would opt to do it if say I was to have a traumatic vaginal birth too.<br>
I don't do PKU until after my milk comes in and baby is eating and no eye drops. (and no bath either until they are around 36hrs plus old)
 

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I have read somewhere (and I am not vouching for the validity, just saying you might look into it) that you can achieve the same levels of vit K in the babe at birth if mama takes the supplements for the last couple weeks before delivery. Then the baby has vit k with no shot or drops. But like I said, I dont know how valid that is or if its just a theory, you might want to see what you can find out.<br><br>
I thought, on the PKU testing, that what they are testing for isnt even present at birth and therefore the results would not be valid at birth no matter what. Maybe I need to go find that thread........
 

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Ideally, the PKU test is done at 48 hours old. Soon enough for colostrum to make its way through the babe's intestines, not long enough for any illness not yet known to do damage.
 

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for vitamin k a mom taking a bunch during pregnancy will not give baby much, on the other hand the breastmilk will deliver decent amounts if the mom has adequate vitamin k in her diet when she is breastfeeding. sorry but this part hasn't been studied enough to know how much vit K in the diet will be the optimum amount for infant feeding. Many nutrients in breastmilk are tightly regulated given that it seems that vit k supplementation either though diet or vitamins raises vit k levels in milk. After observing some people who have eaten from their own gardens both wild and cultivated greens I could see that people in the past probably had adequate vit k most of the time in their diets to prevent problems in breastfed infants.<br>
As for oral vs injectable oral vit k given on day 1-3 and at 2 weeks had adequate coverage except for a few rare incidences of gallbladder/liver disease and one baby with a very rare error of metabolism.
 

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I chose not to give the vitamin K shot to DS because he was born at home and I was going to choose not to circumcise so I was not worried about bleeding. During the last trimester and first few weeks of his life I did drink about a quart of nettle tea per day to increase my vitamin K for my breastmilk.
 

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I did not have kit K given at my dd homebirth. It really isn't necessary for a healthy mom and baby. The baby has enough vit k reserves from mom at birth.<br><br>
I did increase the alfalfa in my 3 or 4 X a day herbal tea. Alfalfa is a good source of natural vit K.<br><br>
If I had a boy and were going to circumcise, then added vit K might be prudent. Of course that opens up a can of worms...
 

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here's my Vit K informed choice agreement:<br><br>
Vitamin K Informed Choice Agreement<br><br>
Newborn babies born in US hospitals are typically given routine Vitamin K injections – most of the time without parental knowledge of why this is done or their consent. As part of the midwifery standard of care, we believe that not only do parents deserve to know why this is done, but also to receive their consent or waiver regarding this choice.<br><br>
What is Vitamin K?<br>
Vitamin K is found in some food sources (dark, leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, safflower and polyunsaturated oils, dairy) and is assimilated through intestinal bacteria. This compound, Vitamin K, is necessary for proper blood clotting.<br><br>
Adults do not usually develop a deficiency in Vitamin K unless they are on particular medications that affect their vitamin intake or if they have a disorder in which fat absorption is impaired (Vitamin K is fat-soluble). Babies are born with low reserves of vitamin K, and research has shown that they do not have enough vitamin K producing bacteria in their intestines until four to six months of age. 6 Unfortunately, human milk is low in Vitamin K (although colostrum contains slightly more than mature milk) and babies that are breastfed and / or fed soy infant formula are at higher risk for developing problems.<br><br>
Because of this lack of Vitamin K, blood of newborns often takes an excessive amount of time to clot. Some babies can develop Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn or Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding during the first few weeks, or even months, of life.<br><br>
There are three kinds of Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn:<br>
1.Early Onset: occurs in babies less than 24 hours old. Most often related to maternal drug intake (particularly seizure medications) during pregnancy. Life threatening intracranial bleeding is the most common sign. Vitamin K given at birth cannot prevent bleeding in all cases. The incidence of this problem is very low even in high risk groups.<br>
2.Classical: occurs between 2 and 7 days of life, with most cases obvious on days 3-5. It is usually prompted by delayed onset of feeding or inadequate intake of breastmilk or marginal vitamin K content in the mother’s milk. Bleeding may occur from the following sites: gastrointestinal tract, umbilicus (belly button), ear, nose, throat, needle pricks, circumcision, intracranial. Less likely to occur with full-term babies.1<br>
3.Late Onset: appears between 2 weeks and six months of age, typically between 2 and 8 weeks. Often associated with hepatobiliary (liver) disease or cystic fibrosis, though is seen primarily in exclusively breastfed infants who have received no or inadequate Vitamin K after birth (including poor absorption of breastmilk or breastmilk low in vitamin K). Symptoms may include intracranial bleeding, or bleeding from the skin, ear/nose/throat region, needle prick sites, umbilicus, urogenital tract. Warning signs include jaundice, poor feeding, failure to thrive and any form of bleeding.1<br><br>
What are the risks of my baby developing Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN)?<br>
All three types of HDN have different predisposing factors. The most common form of HDN is Classical onset. Rates of incidence vary from study to study – most show the incidence to be 1 in 200 or 400. Other studies place 1 of every 2000 to 4000 babies who do not receive Vitamin K at birth at risk. 1 Babies that are at higher risk include: those that have some sort of birth injury (through the use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or from a quick delivery or shoulder dystocia), are born with a hematoma, will be circumcised within 8 days from birth, is born before 35 weeks, are born with a liver disease or some other illness requiring intravenous medications or antibiotics, and whose mother did not have adequate prenatal nutrition or was prescribed anti-seizure medications.<br><br>
The risk of occurrence for Late onset HDN ranges from 4.4 to 7.2 per 100,00 births. After a single dose of oral Vitamin K is given after birth, the rate decreases to 1.4 to 4.6 per 100,000 births. Injectible Vitamin K prevents the development of late onset HDN, except for the rare cases of infants with severe malabsorption syndromes.<br><br>
How is Vitamin K given?<br>
There are questions about whether or not Vitamin K should be given orally or intramuscularly (through an injection into the muscle). A study was published in the British Medical Journal in 1992 that linked the injectible Vitamin K to childhood leukemia. These findings have never been able to be reproduced in subsequent studies. Some parents object to injectible Vitamin K because of obvious trauma for the baby. While oral Vitamin K has no links to childhood cancers, it is not nearly as effective as the injectible Vitamin K, and has to be given in larger doses and more frequently (2mg in three doses: at birth, at 2 weeks and at four weeks ) than the one-time injectible.<br><br>
Can Vitamin K cross the placenta prenatally?<br>
Some studies have documented the fact that Vitamin K does indeed cross the placenta, albeit in small amounts, but may not treat the newborn as effectively as Vitamin K given after birth. Women may choose to supplement their diet with Vitamin K to ensure that more will reach their babies (starting usually at about 34 weeks, but cord blood has shown elevations when women start as late as five days prior to birth). Alfalfa and nettles are both great sources of Vitamin K. Recommended dose is to drink 1-2 cups daily of each infused herb up until birth. Fresh alfalfa sprouts will also provide Vitamin K. After the birth, if the mother supplements her diet with vitamin K, levels in breast milk begin to rise almost immediately and are dramatically increased by 12 hours. ,<br><br>
Please check one of the following:<br><br>
[ ] I desire to have oral Vitamin K given to my baby at birth, at two weeks old and at four weeks old<br><br>
[ ] I desire to have injectible Vitamin K given to my baby at birth<br><br>
[ ] I wish to decline Vitamin K, injectible or oral, for my newborn baby
 

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I did Vit K with myself and my first baby because of a medication I was on, Dilantin, and with that med. it is highly recommended to take vit K. I took it a week before birth as well. There may be other meds. that do this. I am no longer on Dilantin and didn't do the shots with my next babies, or any vaccs, etc. I did PKU testing however, because I have seen the sad results of those that didn't and after weighing testing with not testing, I just preferred to do it. Even though I didn't do Vit K, I did eat lots of leafy greens and took alfalfa tablets.
 

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It still doesn't make sense to me why breastfed babies would be at a higher risk. Wouldn't babies have evolved to get all the Vit K they need from breastmilk or from cord blood? It doesn't make sense that babies under normal circumstances would "need" Vit K supplementation. How would the human race have survived otherwise?<br><br>
I'm still not sure what to do about the Vit K issue. I'm currently taking heparin SQ BID. I don't know if it would be safe for me to supplement my diet w/ Vit K while pregnant. Anyone have any info on this?
 

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I know it doesn't seem to make sense that breast fed babies are at risk but they are because our diets are not what they should be. It also doesn't make sense we have osteoporosis but these 2 things are linked, vitamin k is involved in both things. Much of the vitamin K we get is in the form called Dihydrophylloquinone(which is in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils). This form of vitamin K is artificial and performs only limited functions of the natural form (phylloquinone, in cooked and raw greens and in small amounts in some cold pressed oils and other foods ).<br>
Dihydrophylloquinone makes a lesser amount of clotting factors than the same amount of natural, it also does not seem to perform the other functions like keeping calcium in bones or helping to regulate blood sugar or keeping the arteries free from plaque( it actually helps to form plaque) So it may seem that adults get adequate vitamin k but in recent studies looking at adult diets we do not get adequate vitamin k in our diets and in some revised recommendations they are raising the RDA because of it's link to osteoporosis. Traditional diets that probably would be fairly protective have changed through many things like urbanization and the way food is made available. I have watched people who without having much money but access to plenty of grown and foraged foods have multiple servings of greens in a day. In calculating their vitamin K intake they get way more than the RDA and if you tested their breastmilk levels it would probably be higher as well.<br>
here is a web address of a down loadable vitamin K table-<br><a href="http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Classics/index.html#vit_k" target="_blank">http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcom...dex.html#vit_k</a>
 

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Sara Wickham has some fabulous articles available about vitamin K, what the research shows, and how things may be different in a homebirth setting.<br><br>
She also has <a href="http://www.midwiferytoday.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MT&Product_Code=VKB&Category_Code=OTBK" target="_blank">this book</a> available.
 
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