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Vitamin K injection

(17 Posts)
limetictacs Wed 17-Apr-13 14:11:47

Hi there is probably already a thread somewhere about this but I couldn't find one.
I was just wondering what your thoughts were on giving this to baby after they are born?

DaveMccave Wed 17-Apr-13 14:39:05

I won't be accepting it this time (I did with my first but I embarrassingly hadn't read any information that wasn't from the NHS and had no reason to doubt then). I will just up my vitamin k dietary intake in the run up to the birth, and have already begun to drink the odd cup of nettle tea which is very high in it.

My independent midwifery service is very sceptical of its purpose and has also provided a list of reasons for and against in my maternity notes, rather than just the reasons you should have it as I was given with the NHS.

This article sums up my concerns.

DaveMccave Wed 17-Apr-13 14:40:31

Also, I know many people who have not wanted to give it but have held off deciding until after birth, you may think it would be more beneficial after a birth that involved ventouse or forceps for example.

SomethingOnce Wed 17-Apr-13 15:21:49

I planned not to give it, for the standard set of anti reasons, and suspect I'd plan the same again.

DD took her time though, only appearing after a failed ventouse attempt, so at the time I took the advice to give it.

So I agree, it's ok to plan not to, but be open-minded and play it by ear.

SomethingOnce Wed 17-Apr-13 15:33:14

Sorry, that should read not plan the same again.

I think the benefits outweigh the risks; I'm glad I did give it and on balance would plan to give it again.

BraveLilBear Wed 17-Apr-13 15:34:58

Thanks for this thread. Until now, Vitamin K shot was something I'd heard mentioned but had no idea why they would administer something to a newborn.

Having just read that link, I think it seems a sensible precaution if your baby suffers a head trauma during birth or needs forceps/ventouse/comes out very coneshaped. Other than that, I'm not seeing the point...

My HCP team haven't mentioned this at all yet (am 26 weeks now) so will be keen to find out more from them in the near future.

limetictacs Wed 17-Apr-13 18:34:06

When I had my DS 4 years ago I didn't write a birth plan and didn't know anything about the vitamin K injection. I vaguely recall the midwife asking me if I consented to them giving it to DS after I had him. Now I'm worrying I shouldn't. He did have major cone head though so would that count as a traumatic birth?

I'm really in two minds about giving the vit K this time round as all the arguments for and against are so extreme. confused

Flisspaps Wed 17-Apr-13 18:50:05

Both of mine were forceps births.

Both of mine had oral vitamin k. I decided beforehand that I didn't want my children welcomed to the world with an injection, and after they'd been salad-tonged out, I was even more determined to make their early hours as pleasant and pain-free as possible.

FoofFighter Wed 17-Apr-13 19:27:36

I found the NCT's article on it pretty unbiased and just fact based.

My child will be having it, I can't really see any benefits in not having it, but clear benefits in having it.

FoofFighter Wed 17-Apr-13 19:27:54

Sorry forgot to do clicky link

FoofFighter Wed 17-Apr-13 19:31:09

Dave, re your link there - I have read that vit K does not cross the placenta into baby so food dosing yourself before birth won't work, and breastmilk also doesn't contain much Vit K either (if formula feeding it is added obv as it's fortified)

Also from what I have read re the cancer link, this has not been proven (obviously also meaning not completely disproven either..)

misslavery Wed 17-Apr-13 20:39:04

Hey I decided not to consent to Vit K injection at the time of my daughters birth. I went on the advice of my midwife who was also my hypnobirthing coach. It was a little tricky administering the K myself though. I was given 3 little glass bottles of the stuff which I had to give over the course of 6 weeks (if my memory serves me correctly!) they were not easy to break and one shattered when I tried to open it so I had to go bk to the hospital to get another. Then my child was really sick straight after the first one so I had to go again and get another! It all ended up fairly stressful at a time when I was still getting my head around being a mum! I appreciate the benefits of administering it in small doses but it can be a bit of a headache. I'm pregnant again and will think long and hard about my choice this time.

blondieminx Wed 17-Apr-13 20:49:09

I declined the injection for my newborn, opting for the drops (given orally) instead. The midwives did the first 2 doses and the HV the third and final one.

It was very straightforward for us.

DD is my pfb so I wasn't about to consent to someone injecting her when a less invasive option was available!

rowtunda Wed 17-Apr-13 21:43:18

Bloody daft not to give vit K. It's a quick injection absolutely nothing compared to the experience the little mite will have just gone through during child birth.

Like someone said above obvious benefits for it to be given and not any proven risks to not. I'm very shocked that independent midwifes are advising against.

sallysparrow157 Wed 17-Apr-13 22:03:39

The use of vitamin k in newborns prevents hemorrhagic disease of the newborn which is rare but if a baby gets it there is an incredibly high risk of death or severe brain damage. There is no significant risk associated with giving vitamin k, in fact I cant even think of any insignificant risks. If you choose not to give vitamin k and your child develops haemorrhagic disease of the newborn they will need to be given vitamin k in far higher doses than they're given at birth or they will probably die.
The injected dose is a tiny volume given through a tiny tiny needle, I've given it and seen it given many times, most babies don't even cry when it's given. The oral dose is slightly less effective and much more hassle as you have to remember to give it and the little glass vials are fiddly but definitely better than nothing. It does not cross the placenta effectively or get passed on in breast milk and although formula is fortified, there isn't enough in it to build up stores in the first few weeks of life where babies are at risk.

slightlysoupstained Wed 17-Apr-13 22:16:10

I wanted injection, partner wanted not to. We compromised on oral Vit K. If baby had needed forceps/ventouse would have been inclined to insist on injection.

Would never have agreed not to give it, didn't want first few weeks of my baby's life spoiled by worrying about watching for symptoms. He was a little jaundiced, if I'd been worrying about whether that had lasted too long/was he actually looking any less yellow today than yesterday I'd have been utterly miserable.

EcoHippyMum Wed 17-Apr-13 23:29:12

My three daughters had it and are now 18,17 &10. All fighting fit. I will with the next birth too. So often I see all these scare stories of possible side effects of cancers (they use rats that are predestined to get tumours anyway), and other nasties. Look what has happened in Wales due to people not giving MMR, children WILL start dying again in this country from preventable diseases. Who knows, maybe that's the aim of some of these stories to keep mankinds numbers from soaring further... What really makes me laugh as a scientist, the amount of people who seem to put their 'faith' in science when arguing against say religion, and the same ones don't trust scientists to protect their DC.

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