Why give vitamin K to a newborn baby?
My name is Philippe. We are going to have our baby soon and we read somewhere that our baby should be given an injection after birth for vitamin K. Why should we give this vitamin to our baby? Thank you for your dedication, Philippe, Karine and baby Félix to come.
Dear Philippe, I am pleased to inform you on this subject.
In fact, when a baby is born, they don't have enough vitamin K in their system. This knowledge has been acquired for more than a century already at the level of medicine. Vitamin K is a clotting factor in the blood that helps form clots to prevent bleeding. Even if a pregnant woman consumes enough green vegetables, meats, fish and eggs during her pregnancy, the fact remains that she cannot pass them on to her baby in desirable amounts. The same goes for breastfeeding. The quantities transmitted via breast milk are also not up to the rates sought to ensure the preventive side.
Vitamin K deficiencies
For a baby, its birth is a fairly traumatic process in terms of its structures. Just think of the bones of the skull, for example, which will overlap to decrease the perimeter of the baby's head to facilitate its descent into the pelvis of its mother. Although not visible to the naked eye, it is known that vitamin K deficiency can cause unexpected bleeding that can occur after childbirth and cause bleeding. These hemorrhages are more noticeable in the baby's gastrointestinal tract, at the vascular level with the appearance of bruises and especially, at the intracranial level.
This is why, as a preventive measure, the Canadian Pediatric Society recommends the administration of vitamin K by intramuscular injection into the thigh of the newborn, as much as possible within 6 hours after birth, to avoid effusions of blood. blood and the complications that could ensue in the days, weeks and even months after childbirth.
Are there any risks from injecting vitamin K?
Know Philippe that the injection of vitamin K is very safe and causes very few reactions for your little Felix. Like other types of injections, you may notice a little redness, slight edema (swelling) and perhaps tenderness at the bite site for the baby, all of which is mild and temporary, although sure.