For most of us, our journey into this world is no picnic. After a tortuous passage out into the light of day the child is taken from the mother for weighing and measuring, blood is taken for a PKU test and then Vitamin K is injected into the newborn. What a welcome!!!
Parents of newly born babies face a stand up battle in the delivery room with the hospital staff if they decide on any other course of action. Seldom are these procedures of an emergency nature and it is only in the most obvious cases of maternal malnutrition that this intervention should be considered. There is no reason to further trauma-tize the poor baby by sticking another needle in them to inject something that is most likely unnecessary in the first place and possibly very dangerous to their future health.
So why do our babies keep getting injected with this harmful substance?
While the current justification for the use of Vitamin K injections are fear of bleeding from the umbilicus or if a circumcision is performed, the ‘habit’ began a quarter-century ago. Vitamin K was saving the lives of those few mothers, who had clotting disorders and may otherwise have bled to death after birth. Since medical wisdom dictates that if it works for one let’s use it for all, (especially if it works for the drug companies and hospitals by producing another billable procedure) we have seen the extension of this “protection” not only to birthing mothers, but also to all their offspring.
The result is that a procedure that has little to do with infants is now ingrained so deeply into standard protocol.
The injection contains a fat-soluble vitamin K compound that exceeds an infant’s recommended daily dietary intake of the vitamin by 100 times.
Along with vitamin K, the shot may include (depending on the manufacturer) various chemicals such as:
- Phenol (carbolic acid – a poisonous substance distilled from coal tar)
- Propylene glycol (derived from petroleum and used as an antifreeze and in hydraulic brake fluid)
- Acetic acid (an astringent antimicrobial agent that may drastically reduce the amount of natural vitamin K that would have otherwise have been produced in the digestive tract)
- Formaldehyde (The Commonwealth Centre for Poisons advises that there is no safe level of Formaldehyde in the human body)
- Mercury (An accumulative neurotoxin)
- Benzyl alcohol.
Peer reviewed journals have linked large doses of vitamin K to childhood cancers and leukaemia. Animal studies have linked large doses of vitamin K to a variety of conditions that include anaemia, liver damage, kidney damage and death. Jaundice and other severe reactions, including death have been reported from vitamin K injections in children.
As early as April 1977, an article in one of the world’s most esteemed medical journals, the Lancet, discredited the policy of routine vitamin K injections. “We conclude that healthy babies, contrary to current beliefs, are not likely to have a vitamin K deficiency… the administration of vitamin K is not supported by our findings…” Van Doorm, et al.
Our role as parents are challenging enough when things are ‘normal’ but when we have just completed a birthing we can be very vulnerable to coercion so the best advice on this matter would be to be prepared. Get the information on issues such as Vitamin K and make your birth plan very clear to all concerned. Your baby’s welcoming to the world depends on it.