I chose not to get the Vit K because the risks were bigger than the benefits for me. We also did not do the eye ointment.
It was given to help lower the risks of Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN), which commonly is bleeding in the brain or lungs. The benefits are in baby's interest if you are having a c-section, preterm birth, or forced extraction (forceps or vaccum birth).
The amount of vitamin K is an insane amount, I have read as much as 25,000 times the amount (give or take, depending on size of baby) and the overload causes the body to overreact and not absorbed correctly. Vitamin K toxicity causes jaundice, which is already a problem facing newborns without the shot.
During the last trimester, the vitamin K levels for the mother decrease and more is passed through the placenta, therefore newborns have their own supply of vitamin K. If you are afraid of not having enough, you can explore taking vitamin K supplements yourself. Vitamins are better absorbed through food though, for Vit K try eating salads, broccoli, and cauliflower. There may be more, but those are the ones that come to mind off of the top of my head.
There is evidence that cutting the cord too soon leads to more problems, such as bleeding on the brain and in the lungs than babies not given the vitamin K shot. Look up the benefits of delayed cord clamping and see it is something that follows your decisions. It also severely decreases chances of other common newborn problems.
There is one study that said the shot increase leukemia, but that was quickly ruled false after the study was repeated by many other scientist.
If you choose to get the shot, I suggest you wait until at least 2 hours after birth. During the first two hours, baby should be next to you and cuddling you. All the "procedures" can wait and are not needed right at birth. Look up "the golden hour" and make a decision for yourself. Any procedures can inhibit baby's desire to breastfeed as well. After two hours babies hormones decrease and they begin to relax, during this period it a good time to start any procedures you choose to do. Oral Vitamin K is unlikely to upset your new little one, unlike the shot jabbed in their butt or thigh. It is also absorbed better since it is absorbed through the intestines.
You must feel so relieved to have a date for Sapphire. I have never heard of giving babies vitamin K at birth. I don't know if that is something exclusive to NZ or if it's something new.
Vitamin K is routinely given to all newborns in hospitals (even in the US). It is to prevent rare bleeding in the brain that can happen to newborns - Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and has been proven to effectively prevent this bleeding in the brain, which can have serious and lifelong neurological consequences for a newborn baby. The controversy is that the vitamin K shots have also been associated with an increased risk of childhood cancer (namely leukemia) - although this connection is less clear in the research. There is some research to suggest that oral vitamin K is not associated with an increased cancer risk but the shot is. Most or all baby formulas are supplemented with very high levels of vitamin K - so the thought is that breastfed babies are more at risk. I plan on giving my baby oral vitamin K supplements because I know the risk of a brain bleed (while rare) is real and the research on the possible link to cancer is not clear. The proper studies have not yet been done in my opinion. But it is a decision each parent should make for themselves. Good luck!
Thanks for the info! I don't remember this from my last baby (8 years ago). I suppose I should ask my midwife what the hospital's policy is.
Thanks so much for your interest in my post.Yes it pays to research any medical treatments when in doubt and also when there is a choice to give it or not to give it.When I had my other 3 children I didn't have any choices with this vitamin K injection or the other baby 6 week vaccinations,but that was between 26 -15 yrs ago.So I'm glad my midwife has said to me this time it is up to me to make decisions for my new born baby but be firm with the hospital team.
I have just finished reading on the net 'The dark side of the routine newborn vitamin K shot' and it's really opened my eyes.
I live in New Zealand and Hep B is not given at birth here (yet) or the silver nitrate put into babies eyes (yet) both of these treatments seem to happen in New York State America.Also this article says preventing exemptions to vaccinations and other mandated medical treatments for babies/children doesn't happen very often.(please let me know if this is incorrect if you live there.)So really no choices for parents???
My husband and I have decided on the oral Vitamin K but only after our baby has been breastfeed first,I'm even considering writing a letter to my birthing team so they know what we want before our baby is born.
Different states have different laws regarding vaccinations and procedures. Procedures can even be further regulated by individual hospitals, but right to refuse is based on the law of the state.
Look up vaccination laws by state and choose the National Vaccine Information Center. It has a map on the front page and shows you what state allows what exemptions. Many people who do not have rights to claim philosophical claim religious in their states. Some choose to delay vaccinations and some chose to not get any ever. Their children are still allowed to attend public schools and such, they just need to sign a waiver.
Most people just go with whatever the the hospitals and doctors say. I wish more people would actually research things instead of just reading papers given to them by the hospital and their medical providers. Parents have rights, they just do not care to exercise them.