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Thread: Vitamin K injection...

  1. #1

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    Question Vitamin K injection...

    Firstly, mods not sure if this should be here, feel free to move if in the wrong place

    Can someone tell me what the vitamin K injection is for with a newborn?? Is it necessary?? I am unsure about what it is - I know my SIL and BIL didn't get it done with their second and had it on their birthplan - which is why I'm asking cos I'm trying to work a bit more of my birthplan out.



  2. #2

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    As far as I know its to help clot blood for babies. As their blood doesn't often clot very well up until 8 weeks so they can "bleed out" espeically in the brain I think (someone clarify this one). I think yes it is important. We chose to go for the oral Vit. K as we didn't want any injections straight after birth. Seth didn't mind it orally at all. So it was fine for us. But everyone is different on this subject, some prefer to get it out of the way with an injection whereas we didn't mind having 3 oral doses of Vit. K.

    ETA: Ok I'm a bit slow... what caro said LOL!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  3. #3

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    Worth a mention - HDN affects only 1:10'000 babies, and if you have a complication-free birth it's near unheard of. On my birth plan (and after discussion with DH) I have vit K ONLY if forceps or similar are used, or if the birth was felt to be traumatic. We want to avoid as much unnatural intervention as possible!

    There have been links with various childhood cancers, but these have not been proved; the studies were all on too small sample sizes.

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    Thanks for posting that caro, very interesting. Thats some great info

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  5. #5

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    But doesnt it make you wonder why babies are born that way? Why would humans deliberately be born with insuficient Vit K and there be a need for mankind to have to come up with a solution to fix that? You can actually boost your diet in Vit K before birth. Like Ryn said though the risk is very low.

    Here's the Cochrane Review for this:

    Objectives
    To review the evidence from randomized trials in order to determine the effectiveness of vitamin K prophylaxis in the prevention of classic and late HDN. Main questions are: Is one dose of vitamin K, given after birth, able to significantly reduce the incidence of classic and late HDN? Is there a significant difference between the oral route and the intramuscular route in preventing classic and late HDN? Are multiple oral doses of vitamin K, given after birth, able to significantly reduce the incidence of classic and late HDN?

    Search strategy
    The standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group was used.

    Selection criteria
    All trials using random or quasi-random patient allocation, in which methods of vitamin K prophylaxis in infants were compared to each other, placebo or no treatment, were included.

    Data collection and analysis
    Data were extracted independently by each author and were analysed with the standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration and its Neonatal Review Group, using relative risk, risk difference and weighted mean difference.

    Main results
    Two eligible randomized trials, each comparing a single dose of intramuscular vitamin K with placebo or nothing, assessed effect on clinical bleeding. One dose of vitamin K reduced clinical bleeding at 1-7 days, including bleeding after circumcision, and improved biochemical indices of coagulation status. Eleven additional eligible randomized trials compared either a single oral dose of vitamin K with placebo or nothing, a single oral with a single intramuscular dose of vitamin K, or three oral doses with a single intramuscular dose. None of these trials assessed clinical bleeding. Oral vitamin K improved biochemical indices of coagulation status at 1-7 days. There was no evidence of a difference between the oral and intramuscular route in effects on biochemical indices of coagulation status. A single oral compared with a single intramuscular dose resulted in lower plasma vitamin K levels at two weeks and one month, whereas a 3-dose oral schedule resulted in higher plasma vitamin K levels at two weeks and at two months than did a single intramuscular dose.

    Authors' conclusions
    A single dose (1.0 mg) of intramuscular vitamin K after birth is effective in the prevention of classic HDN. Either intramuscular or oral (1.0 mg) vitamin K prophylaxis improves biochemical indices of coagulation status at 1-7 days. Neither intramuscular nor oral vitamin K has been tested in randomized trials with respect to effect on late HDN. Oral vitamin K, either single or multiple dose, has not been tested in randomized trials for its effect on either classic or late HDN.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; November 16th, 2006 at 06:02 AM. Reason: added Cochrane Review
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    I hear ya Kelly - but nature didn't intend Drs to shove tongs up our hoohoos and deliver babies either So maybe there is a place for the jab when you have any of the factors listed above.
    I actually found the heel p.r.i.c.k. more disturbing than the Vit K. I had that many things hanging out of me, it really wasn't my first concern, and the ward nurse actually had to come to me in the middle of the night (like 3am) to sign the consent as it hadn't been done at my 36w appt.
    Last edited by Fi; November 16th, 2006 at 06:31 AM. Reason: It didn't like p.r.i.c.k!!

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    Wow...talk about fill the brain huh...lol. I am assuming that Joshua got the Vit K but man, being 21 and first bub there is so much you have no idea about...he was a c/s bub anyway. So much information. At least now I have an idea of what it actually for!! Thank you so very much

    Caro, yes I do immunise.

    Fi - PMSL on the shoving tongs up the hoohoo!!! What's the heel p.r.i.c.k. for?? lol how naive do I sound!!!

  8. #8

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    Ozzie,
    More and more couples are investigating and making informed decisions around the Vit K injection. Many are deciding against it.

    None of my own babies have had VitK but it would be accurate to say that the large majority of babies do have it - kinda the "done thing" . However, like the syntocinon injection given to women as routine to "quickly" deliver the placenta it's routine use is being questioned by many.

    As Ryn pointed out the risk of HDN is very low and minute in a normal vaginal delivery.

    Good luck with your investigations and good on you for seeking out information and making informed choices...

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    Great thread guys.....you learn something new every day. Especially if you're on Belly Belly LOL!

    Just another thing to research. The more I learn, the more I realise just how little I know about this whole pg/birth/baby business. And I consider myself better-informed than alot of my friends! Thank goodness for BB! Thanks Kelly

    ETA what is the heel p r i c k test actually FOR? Showing my ignorance here.....

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    Thanks Shannon!

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    Wow Caro you are great at finding some excellent information. It kinda says what Kelly said - Makes you wonder why they're born that way.

    So, does that mean the heel p r i c k test is another one of those things which isn't necessary?? Does it really hurt them (I mean obviously they would feel it)...but does it REALLY hurt??

    Sez, I feel the same as you...lol. I know more than my friends, but in fact I still know nothing!! I feel so completely and utterly naive at times and Kelly - Belly Belly is a huge credit to you - there are so many things here that I would never have known to ask or question. There are things which have happened this time which didn't last pg and because of other posts I've had my mind put at ease. Thanks

  12. #12

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    Caro... regarding your comment
    Why would god allow people the brains to become Dr's and Scientists to come up with vaccinations to cure horrific diseases that used to wipe out populations ?

    Before Vit K was introduced there was a higher incedence of problems from this deficency. Now there is less because most babies are given it.

    There are lots of things I dont agree with , lots of things that I dont think God intended but then again when he made us and the world he made the brains for us to come up with solutions to fix things And the world has evolved and changed in ways that I am sure HE/SHE never would have imagined

    There are far more riskier things that the Vit k injection.

    Imo
    Personally, I tend to think that God knew what He was doing, just that we don't! Whilst I do think that He gave us the wherewithall to cure diseases (God never intended disease and death: that's all the fall-out from the time of Eden and original sin and thus our own fault), all the extra meddling just causes more problems. Unless I have serious need of intervention, I do not intend to give my child vit K because there's a reason it's not there: just because I don't know the reason doesn't make the point invalid.

    I am also going to be vaccinating my babies: I used to love vaccination days when I was little because it was a day off school for the really nasty ones (usually needed for a holiday, too!), and the one-off routine ones meant I got to pick what was for dinner that night!

  13. #13

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    Vit K "deficiency" is normal in newborns, so therefore I don't want to do anything about it.

    Disease is NOT a normal state, so I will prevent it.

    Much as I hate the word "normal" (seriously - all the problems in the world come from this word!), there are some things that are the way things are, so we accept them, and there are some things which were never intended, so we prevent them.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by caro View Post
    [I] My SIL put it into perpective regarding immunizations, would you rather your child come down with any of the diseases immunisation protects against or to get penumocchal menegitis (did anyone see that story on 60minutes ? ) or for them to have a needle that may MAY give them a little cold and or discomfort for a day or so.

    One of the things that AP parents (full AP) dont do is immunize and that is one of the things I totally disagree with. I think its selfish for all the other children that are around theirs. I do many AP things myself but that is just not something I would do. or rather not do.


    I do not immunize Caro. I think of myself as a very compassionate, intelligent and dilligent supporter of human rights. I have posted about this before and again I will. I have worked in third world countries. I have also sat with a child in its last hours of "preventable illness" in Western Countries - and I have seen first hand more than some the destruction that communicable preventable illness brings.

    I have also witnessed reactions to immunisation. My own child had a severe reaction to an immunisation. I know there are other parents here on Belly Belly who have had reactions to immunisation that are far worse than my own childs. Some children have been left with irreversible and permanent damage. Now, I am a scientist so it is conjecture to suppose that these children were perhaps always going to become this way and that perhaps this is all just coincidence. These are all valid arguments. Tell that to the parents of a crumpled child or the parents of a child screaming and writhing with pain and fever.

    If it was always "just a little cold" that immunisation left behind then it may be different. I have seen otherwise. So, I think it would be helpful to remember that we all love our babies. We are lionesses and we will protect them to the death. However, parenting is a tough gig. Trust me, to go outside the square and make a choice NOT to immunise is bloody hard.
    I am a fence sitter I have seen the worst of times on both sides of the fence. However, when my own baby had an extreme reaction there was no way I was going back for seconds. I was advised not to that it appeared there was some "inherrant and undefinable reaction". Consequently my other children are not vaccinated. My eldest is now at 11 and my son has begun his schedule now at 6.

    I am not doing this because I am selfish. I am doing this because I AM a lioness and I will protect my babies and make decisions that I feel are the best. I think we all do.
    We all have different paradigms that we operate from. Different histories and different journeys that help to form our own special and unique mindsets.
    But selfishness it is not.

    I agree with what you are saying Ryn. It is NORMAL for babies to be vit K deficient. INterestingly vitK was conceived when the "birth climate" was one of episiotomies, tying women to the bed and VERY interventionist births. In these types of births vit K *may* play a role. Today we can have choice and in a normal spontaneous vaginal delivery vit K I would suggest is not necessary (in the absence of any other clinical indicators)

    We all make choices as parents and we do this out of love and concern for our precious children. As parents I think it's important to support and show compassion for this tough journey.

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    Hi we decided not to do vitamin K and Hep B injects at birth. Mainly because I think that is a horrible way to enter the world. To say it was frowned upon is an understatement. I recieved many lectures from ped about it mainly because if you don't do the inject bub needs three oral doses 1 on day 1 one on day 5 or 7 I think and then another a week or two later (again I've forgotten the details) and most people don't finish the course. We did and it was fine. The other reasons include additives in the injection of vit K. We chose not to have hep B at birth because DH and I had immunty and were not in a high risk group. Unfortunately my immunity has disappeared with this pg so it looks like this bubba will have to have the jab

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    Deb, thanks for sharing about the immunisations! I'm very lucky that I've only had mild reactions, if any, but I do know that if my children have any sort of reactions I will certainly be re-considering those immunisations. Oddly enough, my sister had no reaction to those that provoked a reaction in me, and she reacted to one that I didn't even think twice about (save for the sweeties for being a good girl when the needle went in!). I'm also going to try to defer the immunisations for a few months too; i just don't want to stick a needle in a little tiny six week old baby! I certainly won't be giving any injections that I don't have or haven't had first. My body can cope better with a reaction and chances are if I am fine, the children will be, but as you say, taking chances isn't always the best thing.

  17. #17

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    Ryn in Australia it is recommended that babies be vaccinated for HepB on day 2-3. This is recommended regardless of social risk factors.
    I personally fear this and wonder what we may learn about this in years to come. It seems to me quite obtrusive to give a new born such a vaccine. I can see validity if there are social risk factors of course but for the average "joe blow baby" I have a difficulty with it.

    Ryn, I am a person that has had multiple drug reactions (I am an anaesthetists nightmare!) so I was VERY wary prior to taking Ruby for her vaccination. Like you I deferred it but unfortunately she did react and quite remarkably. It is interesting to note that in some countries vaccination is not recommended until a child is 12-18 months for some... This makes sense to me.

    LIke I said we all make decisions based on our absolute love and concern for our children. When these decisions are made in an informed and educated manner thay are not selfish just maybe different to the next person...

  18. #18

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    I think we're supposed to have some injections very early too... but they can be deferred to the 4 month stage, by which point I'll feel better. MiL can't remember if DH had any reactions or not, and obviously as he was a tiny baby he can't either; I'm going to assume not because you'd remember a reaction, right? But DH has a big problem with a lot of allergies and I can't help but think that maybe the (non-consented) extra drugs his mum was given at birth could have been a factor for some of them, especially the anaesthetic ones. Nut and latex problems are common, and the latex one isn't that strong; DH needs to wear the gloves for a few hours for a rash to start.

    TBH, I'd rather have the vaccination and then breastfeed: that way my baby has the antibodies and can be immunised properly in later years. Don't think that's going to happen though!

    Caro, after a very rude boss (I was sent home from work, then she rang me up annoyed because I called in sick the next day: could I not see she needed the workers and what was so wrong with me anyway?) I do my best not to call in sick any more - although I rarely called in sick and have never taken sick leave because I wanted a day off. I have to be unable to get away from the loo to call in sick. My mum took the attitude that if she kept me off school for a cold then I'd spend too long at home, so I'm used to working through illnesses (she even sent me in with a broken arm and it was days before I got an X-ray!). I now get grief from patients if I'm not at work due to illness: I work in an hospital and so just have to stay well away from the wards if I'm feeling under the weather now.

    Infant mortality rates have dropped partly due to allergy understanding, but I do think that there's been an increase in allergies. I think it's because many things that aren't allergies are called that now. Many children don't like XYZ and before the parents would have not given it to the child for a few years, now it's an "intolerance" or an "allergy", when in fact the child's system is just not ready for that food (yes, I have researched this!). Not that I think you should feed someone allergic to something that food, just that maybe we should leave it a bit. It's also due to movement of people: for example, many lactose intolerant people come from now-cows-milk cultures, thus never knew that their grandparents were lactose intolerant... because they never had lactose after they were weaned.

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