Avoid that Newborn Vitamin K Shot

One of the first routine procedures that your doctor or midwife will administer to your baby after his birth is the vitamin K shot. The intent of the vitamin K shot is to enhance your newborn's ability to produce blood clots. Although the issue is rare, the inability for babies to produce blood clots can cause a serious complication. The most serious complications are created as a result from blood that accumulates in the brain. Clotting can help to prevent serious complications from arising in newborn babies as a result from any type of internal bleeding. Only four out of the 4,000,000 babies born in the United States every year will have an issue with the ability to produce blood clots. While at the hospital, you will probably be told that the main purpose to give your newborn vitamin K is in case of a car wreck on the way home. At first thought, it seems like allowing your newborn to receive the vitamin K shot should be an easy decision. Think again.

There is no vitamin K in the vitamin K shot.

This synthetic vitamin K shot does not include any of the natural forms of vitamin K found in leafy greens (V1) or butter (V2). Instead, the synthetic "vitamin" in this shot is called phytonadione and includes:
– Phenol (carbolic acid, a poisonous acid in coal tar)
– Benzyl alcohol (preservative)
– Propylene glycol (also known as an “edible” antifreeze)
– Acetic acid (an agent that stops, or kills microorganisms)
– Hydrochloric acid
– Lecithin
– Castor oil

Side Effects to Vitamin K in Infants

Giving these ingredients to a newborn baby obviously comes with side effects. The preservatives found in this injection can be toxic and cause serious, and sometimes fatal, reactions for your newborn. Not only have infants received immediate side effects after the injection of vitamin K, but long term effects like anaphylactic shock, childhood cancers, and leukaemia have also been linked to this large dose of newborn synthetic vitamin K. Check out the BOXED LABEL on your newborn's vitamin K injection:

"Severe reactions, including fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after intravenous injection of phytonadione, even when precautions have been taken to dilute the phytonadione and to avoid rapid infusion. Severe reactions, including fatalities, have also been reported following intramuscular administration. Some patients have exhibited these severe reactions on receiving phytonadione for the first time. "

Long Term Emotional Damage Cause by Vitamin K Shot

For more than a century, we have known that infants feel pain and the early onset of pain can cause long-term emotional damage to the infant. Studies have shown that skin breaking injections, such as Vitamin K, can cause physiologic instability, behavioural distress, and lack of pain processing to infants so quickly after birth. In our society -- we clearly understand the importance of "skin-to-skin" after birth, why then can we not understand the negative side effects that can occur from the pain inflicted minutes after? 

Natural Alternatives to Vitamin K

One great alternative is to eat plenty of leafy greens during the final weeks of pregnancy (I ate greens at every meal, and kettle tea makes this easier) to ensure your blood has plenty of vitamin K for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is another way to allow your little one to receive all the vitamin K he needs during the first few weeks after birth. After all -- this is how babies are designed to receive all the vitamin K that they need!

Oral Vitamin K: Safer Than the Injection

Oral Vitamin K (which can be found here) is a safe alternative to the synthetic vitamin K shot. Other countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland have already made the switch. Their result? NO cases of Vitamin Deficiency Bleeding. Although oral vitamin K is a safe alternative, Dr. Mercola also confirms that mothers who are receiving enough vitamin K in their diets and are breastfeeding do not need to supplement their newborns. 

Be warned though. If you decide to skip the vitamin K shot you will have to sign a paper stating you understand that your infant may develop the rare condition: Vitamin Deficiency Bleeding. You can read more about my personal experience by the Healthy Home Economist, here. She also wrote an updated post on skipping the vitamin K shot here


Read this similar post about why I refuse to vaccinate.