Vitamin K to your Baby

By Nick Harlton

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Should you give vitamin K to your baby after birth? This is a well debated question among those who think that breast milk is the perfect food for babies, carefully designed by mother nature since the dawn of mankind, and others who with the help of medicine tries to give the baby a little help on the way of growing up.

We have given extra vitamin K babies for more than 30 years in the form of injection when the baby is born.

This has proven to reduce the risk of internal bleedings and bleedings from nose and mouth (VKDB). This however is a very unusual disease. Even so the injections have probably saved us some babies over the years. What is more questionable is if there is any use and/or danger in giving the baby vitamin K supplements during the first year?

There are some who debate that breast milk is low on vitamin K and that babies should receive extra through fortification. This however leaves many wondering; low compared to what? Babies have been raised with only breast milk during our whole evolution. We have only given supplements over a short period of time, compared to breast milk. So the long term effects of supplements cannot yet be foretold.

Mothers that are low on vitamin K might consider talking to their doctor about supplements. But low amounts of vitamin K are very rare for both adults and babies. This is because the most vitamin K is produced in the intestines. But there is significantly more vitamin K in fortified milk than breast milk.


Some people have argued that this is unnecessary and possibly unhealthy. Breast milk is still the oldest, safest and most tested baby food in the world. And we cannot know for certain that there aren’t any side effects giving extra vitamin K to your baby. It’s not impossible that we discover the reason why it’s not more vitamin K in breast milk in the future.


There are however some groups of babies where you can find good reason to give extra baby vitamin K. Those who are born early, had difficulties at birth or if the mother had taken/eaten any medicine/diet that reduces the vitamin K in her body. These are abnormalities, often caused by our society and modern way of life. Low vitamin K values have always been very unusual for healthy adults.

This article is a debate on the needs of vitamin K, but as we are talking about the life of babies, you should always speak and discuss what is best for your baby with your doctor. They can see to the babies special needs and make good recommendations.