This is one of those posts no one likes to talk about, but I think it’s important. Everyone wants to believe that their doctors have their best interest when it comes to their child’s health and well-being. But, that doesn’t always mean they’ve done the research beyond their standard practice.
[Many thanks to Jenny of Mom Life in the PNW for giving permission to reshare a large portion of her post – vital information for parents.]
I knew when I gave birth to my daughters that I was going to decline the Vitamin K shot because it’s 20,000 times more than what babies need and it can cause all sorts of problems for infections to occur. I got a ton of flack by the nurses when I told them I wasn’t doing the vitamin k shot; they acted like I was committing child abuse.
Yes, I believe there may be instances where a newborn may need it if there are bleeding issues, but my daughter was completely healthy and normal with no visible signs of trauma after coming out of the birth canal unassisted. My mind may have changed IF there were issues, but there were not. I also believe the body is capable of doing what God intended it to do. The body is a powerful thing that can heal itself.
Dr. Suzanne Humphries explains how the body has already compensated for this concern. 4 min.
THESE WORDS WERE SPOKEN IN TESTIMONY RE: HB 2664 (See full text here)
The thought that babies (and all animals for that matter) have lower levels of vitamin K at birth is for a beneficial, protective reason. Let’s consider them:
- First, in order to absorb vitamin K, we have to have a functioning biliary and pancreas system. Your infant’s digestive system isn’t fully developed at birth which is why we give babies breast milk (and delay solids) until they are at least 6-months-old, and why breast milk only contains a small amount of highly absorbable vitamin K. Too much vitamin K could tax the liver and cause brain damage (among other things). As baby ages and the digestive tract, mucosal lining, gut flora, and enzyme functions develop, baby can process more vitamin K. Low levels of vitamin K at birth just…makes…sense.
- Secondly, cord blood contains stem cells, which protect a baby against bleeding and perform all sorts of needed repairs inside an infant’s body. Here’s the kicker, in order for a baby to get this protective boost of stem cells, cord-cutting needs to be delayed and the blood needs to remain thin so stem cells can easily travel and perform their functions. Imagine that, a baby has his/her own protective mechanism to prevent bleeding and repair organs…that wasn’t discovered until after we started routinely giving infants vitamin K injections.
- Third, a newborn might have low levels of vitamin K because its intestines are not yet colonized with bacteria needed to synthesize it and the “vitamin K cycle” isn’t fully functional in newborns. It makes sense then to bypass the gut and inject vitamin K right into the muscle right? Except baby’s kidneys aren’t fully functional either.
- Fourth, babies are born with low levels of vitamin K compared to adults, but this level is still sufficient to prevent problems; vitamin K prophylaxis isn’t necessarily needed. I don’t know about you, but we should probably figure out why that is before we “inject now and worry about it later”.
Since 1985, the medical profession has known that oral Vit. K raises blood levels 300 – 1,000 times higher. The injectable vitamin K, results in vitamin K levels several hundred times thicker than adults blood.
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 access 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 to thin blood for a reason.
Any fetus which gets being wrung out like a wet towel while traveling down a narrow drain pipe can incur damage in any part of the body, including in the brain, and needs an inbuilt fix-it. And stem cells cross the brain blood barrier. In fact, stem cells can go … anywhere!!! Amazing don’t you think. God’s design has solutions for situational problems. Three solutions, actually. The second is the fact that naturally, in the first few days, a baby’s blood clotting factors are lower than normal.
But … pediatricians consider this a … “defect” … so they want to give Vit. K which results in blood nearly 100 times thicker than an adult’s. This Vit. K injection, so they say … (like they say immediate cord clamping is safe, and normal, and delayed cord clamping is an unproven intervention) … is because the baby wasn’t designed right, and if you don’t give a Vit. K injection, the baby “could bleed to death”.
But there is an unanswered question about Vitamin K levels:
“Why are blood clotting factors in babies low in the first few days after birth? Why has a baby got much thinner blood as a result?”
Might a logical hypothesis be, that thinner blood allows freer and quicker access to cord blood stem cells to any part of the body damaged during birth? After all, why should stem cells have to fight through a baby’s blood which is now 100 times thicker than an adult’s, courtesy of another needle?
Here’s the black box warning label for the Vit. K shot straight from the FDA website. So is the Vit. K injection really completely “safe”? Those adverse reactions in the package inserts are just there for decoration, right? You can forget reading the “black box” warning. It’s just the life of a child, right?
The vitamin K1 injection is synthetic, an unnecessary intervention, and a painful experience for your baby. Oral Vitamin K is used in Europe and is much safer.
If you would prefer not be harassed, intimidated and forced to defend your lifestyle during one of life’s most precious moments (the birth of your child), my advice would be to skip the hospital drama. Have your baby at home or at a freestanding birth center instead.
Optimising Vitamin K levels in the newborn
- Reducing physical trauma during birth/ trauma caused by medicalised birth (forceps or vacuum birth)
- Initiation of early breastfeeding (colostrum is high in Vit. K)
- Delayed cord clamping (early cord clamping can deplete the newborn of its clotting factors)
- Avoid antibiotics (interference with newborn gut flora and Vit. K producing bacteria)
- Optimise maternal Vit. K intake whilst breastfeeding
- Optimise maternal gut flora (Vit. K producing bacteria)
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