- Administering vitamin K shots to newborns has been a standard medical procedure in most western countries since 1944. However, according to Vitamin K expert Dr. Cees Vermeer PhD, vitamin K offered orally is a better option for your infant than injection
- Vitamin K shots are given to infants to prevent Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN)
- Giving newborns a syringe full of vitamin K may cause psychological trauma, give infants 20,000 times more vitamin K dose than what is needed, and create an environment for infections to occur.
- There are safer ways to raise vitamin K levels in newborns; giving vitamin K orally is one way. While breastfeeding enables mothers to transfer low doses of vitamin K to their child, this will depend on the mother’s vitamin K levels.
- Whether you choose to give your baby the shot or give vitamin K orally, gather all the information needed to make informed decisions.
By Dr. Mercola
It has been standard practice in the US and most western countries since 1944 to welcome babies into the world by subjecting them to a variety of medical interventions, one of which is a jab with a syringe full of vitamin K.
This injection is routinely done to almost all newborns, unless you, as a parent, refuse to consent.
Birth is an overwhelming sensory experience for your baby. He has never before experienced sensations of cold or hunger, been blinded by artificial lights, or felt the touch of human hands or metal instruments, paper or cloth. Even gravity is a foreign sensation.
A needle stick can be a terrible assault to a baby’s suddenly overloaded sensory system, which is trying to adjust to the outside world.
Vitamin K is Necessary for Your Newborn
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the foremost expert in the world on vitamin K, Dr. Cees Vermeer, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Maastricht (in The Netherlands). I am thrilled to be able to share with you some of the latest information about vitamin K that he shared with me.
While this injection itself may be inappropriate for reasons I will cover in detail, vitamin K is absolutely necessary for your newborn. However, there are safer and non-invasive ways to normalize your baby’s vitamin K levels that don’t require a potentially damaging injection.
Why Is This Shot Given in the First Place?
Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting in adults and children. Some babies (in fact, most of them) are born with insufficient vitamin K levels.
In some newborns, this deficiency can lead to a serious bleeding disorder, typically in the first week of life, called Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN). Internal bleeding occurs in the brain and other organs, leading to serious injury or potentially even death.
While this disease is rare (incidence of 0.25 percent to 1.7 percent),i it is has been standard practice to give injections of vitamin K as a preventative measure to all infants, whether or not risk factors are present.