Did you know that Vitamin K is a controlled substance? I don’t mean controlled in the way oxycodone or morphine is controlled. But it is a controlled substance none the less. Let me explain what I mean.
I’m working with a mom who is due to deliver any day now. (She is having a hospital birth with a physician and I am working as her birth sister/doula.) She decided a couple of weeks ago that she did not want the Vitamin K injection and would opt for the oral drops. Great! I say. “I will pick some up for you and bring it over during our next visit.” Well… that’s what I thought. I was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Not the local Co-op, not Whole Foods, not The Vitamin Shoppe, the herb shop, or GNC, none of them had oral Vitamin K drops. Fortunately I was able to reach out to a local midwife who had just ordered a case and she had a couple of vials to share.
Vitamin K is routinely given to newborns as an injection within minutes of birth to prevent Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn, also called Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. The incidence of this disorder is low but it can definitely be severely damaging and even deadly for a newborn. Because of this reality, in the 1960’s the American Academy of Pediatrics instituted a recommendation that all newborns get an injection of Vitamin K at birth. We have been giving babies this injection, at birth, ever since.
I agree that this dose of Vitamin K is important. I don’t agree that the injection is the ONLY way to provide the necessary Vitamin K to a newborn. And it pisses me off that families are not given more information about other options including prenatal maternal loads of Vitamin K and Oral Vitamin K drops for baby after birth. And then once informed, a family may not realize Vitamin K drops are essentially controlled and they have to be ordered because you can’t get it a local store!! What’s up with that? Is it because it’s too dangerous for the masses?
How dangerous is Vitamin K? I did some searching to learn about the risk of overdosing on Vitamin K just to be sure I wasn’t trippin. Yea, I’m not. THEY are. Why is information about Vitamin K and the oral option withheld from parents?! It’s really ridiculous if you ask me.
The good news is that you CAN order it online. I was able to find K-Quinone, a brand of oral Vitamin K at Precious Arrows and Birth With Love If you need a vial, you can order it from them, just don’t wait until the last minute to place your order!
There is soooo much more to know and to learn about the Vitamin K injection and other routine newborn interventions. I hope you will make plans to join me for my 6-part webinar series The Birth Plan Myth Extended. Call number 5, titled What About My Baby will be all about routine hospital procedures that are done to newborns sometimes without your knowledge or permission. You can register today for the entire 6-part series for only $60!!! This pre-conception rate will not be around for much longer so be sure to take advantage of it today!
Did you opt out of the Vitamin K Shot?
Did you give oral drops or nothing at all?
Share your story!