Vitamin K Injections for Newborns
Vitamin K is an essential clotting factor that stops bleeding. Babies are born with very little Vitamin K because it fails to cross the placental barrier efficiently, even if the mother supplements her diet. Breast milk is also low in Vitamin K. Another source is the bacterial flora in our intestine, but this takes months to develop in the infant. This makes the infant susceptible to a rare condition known as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. It can happen quickly, with few external signs, It can result in brain damage or death, as narrated by the heartbreaking stories in the link.
This is why Vitamin K injection at birth has been routine for more than five decades — since it was first recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1961. One megadose of the vitamin goes into the infant’s bloodstream; part of that is stored in the liver, where it is released slowly over the ensuing few months.
Investigators from Centers for Disease Control learned of a troubling trend with ~3% parents of newborns refusing the injection, and up to 28% refusals at natural birth centers. Parents are susceptible to misinformation about “toxins” and and buying unreliable oral drops from unlicensed sites on the internet. Now, mothers of children who developed life threatening hemorrhages are speaking out.
Learn More: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/vitamink/