Skip that Newborn Vitamin K ShotHealthy Pregnancy, Baby & Child
One of the very first things on a doctor or midwife’s to do list after the birth of your baby is an injection of vitamin K. The purpose of this shot is to assist the newborn with blood clotting capabilities in order to prevent the very rare and slow problem of bleeding into the brain in the weeks after birth (risk in about one in every 10,000 live births).
The shot also is a supposed safeguard in case your car is involved in a car wreck on the way home from the hospital or birthing center with newborn in tow. Even a mild injury to a newborn could be life threatening if blood clotting capability is not adequate.
Safe Alternatives to the Synthetic Vitamin K Shot
How about this for an alternative – eat lots of leafy greens in the weeks before your due date (I drank a cup or two of nettle tea every day in the final weeks which is loaded with vitamin K1) to make sure your blood is high in vitamin K and of course, this will transfer to your baby as well. Does vitamin K pass the placenta? It most certainly does as do all the fat soluble vitamins (source).
Another important point is to make sure you breastfeed your child as the probiotics in breastmilk will seed your baby’s digestive tract with the right type of good bacteria which will produce naturally occurring vitamin K immediately after birth.
Skip the shot, eat your greens, and breastfeed. Now, THAT makes some sense.
Update: On October 17, 2013, a case of anaphylactic shock in a newborn from the synthetic vitamin K shot was reported making the possibility of death from this shot a a very real side effect (source).
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