The Vitamin K Controversy
If you are having a hospital birth, you may or may not have already considered the experience that your baby will have following birth. In the state of Massachusetts, all hospital born babies are automatically given an intra-muscular injection of Vitamin K in the first hour of life. It is believed that every single newborn baby is born with "low" levels of vitamin K (responsibile for aiding in blood clotting). Therefore, every baby is given this injection to discourage bleeding which is thought be of significantly higher risk otherwise. One might, however, ask the question, "If every single baby is born with 'low' levels of vitamin K, then perhaps their levels are not low levels- perhaps the are normal
levels of vitamin K for a newborn
." Vitamin K may be appropriate for babies who have suffered from a very traumatic birth, have hemmorhagatic disease of the newborn (approx 1:5000-10,000), or babies who are born prematurely. In a healthy, fullterm baby, levels of Vitamin K will grow rapidly in the first five days following birth with breastfeeding, thereby interference with normal changes that must occur in their heart. As a parent, you have the legal right to decline this injection if, based on your research, you feel it is prudent to do so and there are some plausible arguments for this consideration. Below are links to learn more.