Vitamin K in Newborns

Image source: nurturingheartsbirthservices.com

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. Newborns need vitamin K to prevent them from Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB), a condition which causes uncontrolled bleeding into the brain.

At birth, babies have a little amount of vitamin K in their bodies because the vitamins can’t cross via the placenta to the baby. There is no enough bacteria at the gut to make vitamin K before the birth or enough vitamins from the breast milk. 100% breastfed babies are likely to suffer from uncontrolled bleeding in the brain due to low levels of vitamin K in their system.

This article highlights the pros and cons of Vitamin K to newborns and lets you make informed decisions on whether to let your baby receive vitamin K injections or not.

 

Pros:

1. Prevents intracranial bleeding: Infants do not get enough vitamin K from the mother during pregnancy and even at breastfeeding. Vitamin K shot helps to reduce VKDB trauma in the infant’s brain. Infant formulas contain high levels of vitamin K to prevent intracranial bleeding.

2. Prevent liver disorder: Vitamin K deficiency reduces the liver’s ability to promote blood clotting.
Giving the infant Vitamin K injections can prevent bleeding associated with liver problems not detected early.

3. Prevent death: Infants exposed to alcohol, drugs or anti-epileptic medications from the mother are at high risk of brain damage or death and giving them vitamin K will prevent the tragic intracranial bleeding.

4. Prevent gallbladder problems: Vitamin K prevents gallbladder problem in babies. Babies who have not received the injection and the mothers not given any vitamin K supplement are at risk of gallbladder problems.

5. Prevent hemorrhagic disease: Although a rare condition, Vitamin K prophylaxis prevents a hemorrhagic condition which can occur some days or weeks after the baby is born.

6. Provides vitamin K components: A shot of vitamin K provide the infant with enough K vitamins until they obtain enough vitamin K nutrients from food.

7. Promote blood clotting: Vitamin k helps the blood to clot and in bone metabolism. Low levels of it can cause deficiency which results in intestinal or brain bleeding.

8. Increase breast milk: Giving Vitamin K supplements to the nursing mother can increase breast milk and provide safer means of supplying vitamin K to the infant through breast milk.

9. Heart health: Vitamin K will enable the baby’s to pump blood freely to the body and reduce the likelihood of heart disease.

10. Prevent serious diseases: Giving the baby vitamin K is a simple way of protecting the baby from any serious disease and improve the health of the baby.

 

Cons:

1. Infections: The newborns are at a risk of infections from the injections given to them. These infections can lead to skin diseases like scleroderma.

2. Cause death: In severe reactions, Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding can cause death to newborns due to brain bleeding.

3. Permanent brain damage: Low levels of vitamins k in the infant can cause severe brain bleeding which can significantly lead to brain damage. Unnaturally, high levels of vitamin K from supplemented formulas lead to permanent brain damage.

4. Cause cancer: High levels of vitamin K can lead to cancer due to the high rapid rate of cell division during fetal development.

5. Leukemia: Large-dose injection of Vitamin K to babies exposed to alcohol or drugs could result in high risk of developing leukemia at childhood.

6. Irritation and pain: The baby can have bruising, irritation or redness in the area injected. The baby can feel pain after the injection.

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