(STLMoms) – It's a shot most newborns get when they're delivered. Pediatrician Dr. Karla Keaney, with Esse Health, talked with Margie Ellisor about Vitamin K injections.
Why do we give Vitamin K to newborns?
- an important nutrient that our bodies need to help blood to clot and stop bleeding
- from food we eat
- from good bacteria living in our intestines
Why does my baby need vitamin k?
All babies are born with low levels of Vitamin K in their bodies for several reasons
1. Vitamin K does not easily pass through the placenta (from mother to child)
2. Breastmilk contains very small amounts of Vitamin K – NOT enough to provide protection
3. Newborn intestines do not have the necessary 'good' bacteria to make enough Vitamin K on their own
Why is Vitamin K important to my baby?
-Too little Vitamin K puts your newborn at risk for a rare disease: Vitamin K deficiency bleeding more easily referred to as VKDB
-without enough Vitamin K, the blood cannot clot well and this puts your baby at risk for bleeding ANYWHERE in the body
● not just a cut or bruise but bleeding into the brain or the intestines for example. Sadly, this can lead to brain damage and even death.
● the risk can last up to 6 months of age
How is Vitamin K given to my baby?
- 1 injection into the muscle in the leg at birth – protection lasts many months & good absorption.
- What about giving Vitamin K by mouth and not a shot?
● not as well absorbed when given by mouth
● protection is much more short-lived and requires multiple doses
● still risk of late onset disease
Should all babies have Vitamin K?
- Yes, all babies need this, especially the premature, the very small, the sick, and those having surgery or other procedures (even circumcisions).
Find out more: http://www.essehealth.com/