Vitamin K for Babies

Vitamin k for babies is one of the most important vitamins

Image of Vitamin K for Babies.

Happy babyVitamin K is very important for newborn babies because low levels of vitamin K can cause VKDB (Vitamin K deficiency bleeding), which is a bleeding disease that cause mouth and/or nose bleeding. In some cases VKDB may also cause internal bleeding, which is very dangerous and can even be fatal. Even mouth and nose bleedings can be harmful for the baby if it has been born early or weak.   

Vitamin K for babies injections have been around since the 1970s to protect babies from VKDB. Traditionally babies have received the vitamin trough injections, but since the 1990s some hospitals have begun to give it oraly. Which was because of a discussion about if these injections could have a connection to leukemia. This has however never been proved.

Best baby gifts that you can offer your newborn baby, is giving him the necessary input of daily vitamins. There is also some information on the topic in the National library of medicine. Here you can read about vitamin K for babies.

Still there are many mothers who prefer to give their babies vitamin K oraly instead of by injections. In this case the vitamin is given twice by mouth to bottle fed babies and three times to breast fed. This is because the breast milk contains lower amounts of vitamin K than formula milk.

There has been a discussion about why formula milk contains much more vitamin K than breast milk. Some belive that there is no use and that it could possibly be harmful for the baby to recive larger amounts of vitamin K than the amount in breast milk.

Many believe that the breast milk that is designed by Mother Nature is to be considered the perfect diet for babies and have enough vitamin K for babies. And as long as the mother is healthy and on a good diet, the vitamin K in the breast milk should be perfectly fine both in regards of quality and quantity for your baby. There is no known side effects of the quantity of vitamin K in formula milk.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, and the largest amounts of vitamin K in adults are created in the intestines, (by a bacteria line in the gastrointestinal tract). It is very rare to have low amounts of vitamin K, because it’s created in the human body by itself.

There can be a risk for vitamin K deficiency if the intestines are severely hurt or damaged, either by force or from long time medication on antibiotics. If your baby should suffer from vitamin k deficiency, they are much more likely to bleed and get bruises easily. This is because the vitamin K is a key factor in the blood coagulation.

The reason why babies get injections of vitamin K is because their intestinals are sterile and cannot produce vitamin K from birth. Generally it takes from 7-10 days before the baby has generated enough bacteria to produce vitamin K by itself.

This is natural of course. Babies have always been born with sterile intestinals, and it´s rare for this to cause any problems, but when it does, it is highly fatal. This is why it’s very usual to give vitamin K to newborn babies in western countries.