Vitamin K Injection

Why a new born baby might need a vitamin K injection ...

vitamin k injectionIf you are an expectant mother, your baby's pediatrician will likely present the possibility of providing for an injection of Vitamin K.

Although an oral regimen can be undertaken, many doctors will also consider giving a single shot of injection to the baby just after delivery. By now, you will be asking why such a vitamin injection should even be discussed since it appears, well, painful for your baby.

Risk of Vitamin K Deficiency

The main reason for the vitamin injection in newborns is to prevent Vitamin K deficiency. Although it is rare with approximately 1 in 100,000 babies being affected with it, the health risks are depressing for parents. When your baby is afflicted with this preventable vitamin deficiency, he can suffer from a bleeding problem resulting in significant brain damage and even death.

Your baby need not suffer from such a dangerous condition if and when a Vitamin K injection was provided soon after delivery. And if you intend to exclusively breastfeed your baby, you must ask the pediatrician for the injection as breast milk is deficient in this micronutrient.

In fact, this bleeding problem is found almost exclusively in breastfed babies as milk formula already contains additional doses of Vitamin K. Browse through the nutritional supplements information for baby formula to ensure that Vitamin K is, indeed, included in the ingredients. But even when you plan to shift to baby formula later on, the vitamin injection will be appreciated as an added protection for your precious bundle of joy.

High Risk Babies

There are other risk factors wherein a Vitamin K injection will be essential to save the life of a baby. These conditions before, during and after birth include but are not limited to the following described below. You are well advised to discuss your case and that of your baby if you think that the vitamin injection is warranted.

  • Certain drugs taken by the mother before and during pregnancy heighten the necessity for the injection. This is particularly true for anticonvulsants for the treatment of epilepsy.

  • Premature babies

  • Complicated delivery such as the case of breech or forceps delivery

  • Baby has the first stages of a liver disease

  • Infant has difficulty in feed absorption as evidenced by his weight and other symptoms

The Vitamin K injection is an additional guarantee that the bleeding disease will not affect babies later on. Many babies who were not provided with the vitamin injection often manifest smaller bleeds on the skin, mouth and nose a few weeks before the often fatal bleeding begins. Do you really want to risk it?

You may also ask why opt for injections of Vitamin K when oral supplementation is also possible. Studies have shown that oral supplementation - usually given after delivery, at 7 days of age, and at 25 days - is not as effective as injections. Such lesser efficacy can be attributed to the unavailability of the specific form of oral supplementation and the inability to complete the course.

So, if you must choose between inflicting a few second of pain to your baby with the Vitamin K injection and risking his health from a bleeding problem, you will likely choose the former. After all, what is an injection for the life of your baby?

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