Vitamin K

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CaBlondie918's picture
Joined: 01/27/07
Posts: 260
Vitamin K

It was one of the things brought up today and I know asking hubby he'll leave it up to me completely. I've been doing some researching and a lot of it says as long as baby is nursed right after birth there isn't a big necessity for it (because of the colostrum). Since I am planning a homebirth and won't be exposing baby to any of the unnecessary interventions I figure why add a shot to it? So I'm leaning towards doing the oral doses, that way we can control them, anyone have experience/advice with that? Where to buy it, etc?

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

We did oral vit K. Hubby and I did the research and found that there isn't really any difference between the shot and the oral dose. I was OK with skipping it entirely but he wanted to be cautious and give it to her. Our MW gave us a prescription and we had it filled at a compounding pharmacy. It tastes like orange :). We gave her 1 dose at 2 days (your supposed to give it at birth but it took that long to get to the pharmacy), one at 2 weeks, and she gets another at 4 weeks. I give it to her when she's alert in between feedings. She doesn't seem to mind it and it doesn't have any apparent side effects.

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

I think it really depends on the birth. I want to have it available (we're doing a homebirth as well) in case it's a rough birth. If it were a boy and we were getting circ'ed (like Daniel) then we'd get it then, too.
In theory, breastfed babies are MORE likely to need the vit k supplements because the formulas out there are so super-supplemented. There are some studies that suggest the vit k shots lead to a higher case of childhood cancers later on, but... I'd take that with a grain of salt. The oral doses, since they are more gradual, are supposed to be the work-around for that. BFing mommas can also take supplements then pass the nutrients along to baby.

Either way, we'll only get it if there's some reason to believe the baby needs extra blood-clotting power to get over some trauma.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

One thing I read when I was pg with DS theorized that immediate cord clamping may cause bleeding abnormalities in newborns because they don't get all of the clotting factors from the cord blood. Kind of makes sense to me.

My DS didn't have any birth injuries and we didn't circ--I chose to not give him vit k at all. My DD had the vit k injection, and also turned out fine.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

My MW isn't able to give us a prescription for vit. K she said so for now she is having me load up on vit. K food in my diet. I'm supposed to keep eating extra vit. K after delivery too. She said we could ask our ped. about the oral stuff esp. if we cir. but for now we are just going without for the birth and can decide in the days following.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

Of all the "interventions" they do to newborns the vitamin K shot is actually one I am ok with. It can help with clotting if there is an issue and it doesn't really hurt the baby (ok well a shot hurts, but the shot won't harm them). I would think the oral vitamin K would be fine. In Ina May's book this is one she actually recommends doing. I am sure whatever you decide your baby will be fine. Good luck!

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Joined: 12/26/05
Posts: 1147

We did the oral for Derek. And I loaded up on Alfalfa in the weeks leading up to his birth. He had no issues.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I loaded up on alfalfa during pregnancy-- and had vit K on hand in case we had a reason to need it. But my births were gentle and babies were fine.....so we never gave it.

I think having it on hand is fine-- but I guess I just trust nature and felt like supplementing without cause wasn't warranted for us.

GL with your decision.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I asked if it was OK to make the decision after the birth depending on how rough it was and my midwives were fine with that. We ended up skipping it since there wasn't any particular trauma/need for help with clotting.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

I had DD via hospital, and we chose to go with the vit k. i'm glad we did, she had jaundice and got pricked so many times over the next week that i think she might have needed it. she never clotted too fast for them to get the sample either. In fact, we took the band aid off her foot too quick after the first prick and it took me 15 minutes to get it to stop bleeding..... IDK what she would have been like without the extra clotting power! If i were doing ahome birth i'd definatly consider the oral doses or just load up myself, but i see no harm in this one, and i pick my healthcare fights very carefully anymore.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

None of mine have had vit.K. After doing my research I decided that delayed cor clamping was the biggest "intervention". If there was any injury or necessary surgery, I would re-think it but it hasn't been necessary.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Both of my midwives, with Tiven and with Weston, recommended that I take alfalfa before birth, and that baby get the Vitamin K shot only if the birth was rough or baby was going to have invasive procedures. The oral Vitamin K is very slowly & poorly absorbed, so it's not helpful in an immediate-need situation but it would be good for a baby boy who will be circ'd a week after birth.

Amber_daisy's picture
Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 567

I didn't want to do vitamin K at all with DS, but our doctor wanted him to have at least the oral vitamin K. I agreed to it, since she was so good about everything else. This time we'll be declining altogether. Also, I was under the impression that even taking in more vitamin K while pregnant would not increase the vitamin K levels in the newborn. To me, it seems like there's a physiological reason that newborns have a "low" level of vitamin K, you know? We might not know what that reason is, but evolution doesn't usually f*ck up that badly. Otherwise we'd have died off long ago.

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

"Amber_daisy" wrote:

I didn't want to do vitamin K at all with DS, but our doctor wanted him to have at least the oral vitamin K. I agreed to it, since she was so good about everything else. This time we'll be declining altogether. Also, I was under the impression that even taking in more vitamin K while pregnant would not increase the vitamin K levels in the newborn. To me, it seems like there's a physiological reason that newborns have a "low" level of vitamin K, you know? We might not know what that reason is, but evolution doesn't usually f*ck up that badly. Otherwise we'd have died off long ago.

I'd always heard that, too, that any extra vit K the mom took while pregnant would not be passed to the baby... it passes through breastmilk, but not into the womb. I totally agree, evolution generally hasn't done us too wrong.