Vitamin K Shots for Newborns

Vitamin K Shots for Newborns

Most doctors usually administer a Vitamin K injection to the baby right after birth. This is part of the newborn care seen in numerous hospitals. However, there are parents who don’t go for it. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

They ask the doctor not to give their baby a vitamin K shot. This may be because they are scared that it will harm their child or may be because they think it is not necessary for their baby. Before opting out of it, you should know everything about it so that you make an informed decision.

You should know the advantages of the shot for the baby as well as the complications that it may bring with it. Once you are aware of both, you will be able to decide easily.

What is vitamin K deficiency bleeding?

The main reason why vitamin K shots are given to newborns is to avoid a condition called VKDB or vitamin K deficiency bleeding. This is a disorder that may occur in newborns if they are vitamin K deficient. This disorder was earlier called classic hemorrhagic disease because the bleeding occurs in the brain.

Thus, the shot is given so as to prevent this horrific disorder in the newborn baby. if the bleeding begins after three weeks of birth, it is known as late VKDB or vitamin K deficiency bleeding. You can prevent this by giving your baby oral vitamin K supplements for the first couple of months.

If you are feeding your baby formula, you won’t need supplementation because infant formula is usually rich in vitamin K. If you are breastfeeding, you may need to give your baby oral vitamin K supplements for twelve weeks after birth.

Controversy about Vitamin K shots

The controversy about these shots arises because this disorder is actually very rare. With no shots at all, early VKDB or vitamin K deficiency bleeding occurs only in 1 baby out of 100,000 babies. Not a very high occurrence.

Late VKDB occurs in not more than 5 babies out of 100,000 babies. Some people were under the impression that these shots are linked to childhood leukemia. This is why these shots were considered dangerous. However, studies have proven that there is no risk whatsoever of childhood leukemia when vitamin K supplementation is taken. However, the truth of the matter is that they are not necessary.

Risks when taking anti-epileptic medicines during pregnancy

If you had to take anti-epileptic medicines during pregnancy, then your baby might need VKDB shots because babies born to pregnant women who take these medicines are at a higher risk. If you drink alcohol during pregnancy too, the risk increases more as well.

Other risk factors include delivery through vacuum extraction or forceps, which may cause trauma during birth and circumcision among the many surgical procedures that may be carried out after birth. However, again, just because you choose circumcision for your boy baby again does not mean that a Vitamin K shot is necessary at all. Take the time to learn about it, and never be afraid to say no.

Just say no

If you want to opt out of giving this shot or oral medications to your baby, make sure you talk to your doctor about it. Don’t be afraid to say no. If you plan on breastfeeding your baby but don’t want to give her the shots, you can take vitamin K supplements as an alternative. This will also help your baby. Take 1 mg each day for the first twelve months.

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).