Why babies need vitamin K

Why babies need vitamin K

A growing number of parents who oppose vaccinations are also declining vitamin K injections for their newborns, according to new research.

Vitamin K is a routine injection administered to newborns that prevents internal bleeding. As a result of this new trend, more babies have become sick with vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) – a disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding in the brain or intestines. Infants who do not get the vitamin K injection at birth are at 81 times greater risk for developing VKDB than infants who do get the injection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Newborns who become deficient in vitamin K are more likely to suffer brain or gastrointestinal bleeding – both of which can have long-lasting effects on a child’s health, including brain damage or cognitive delays,” says Dr. Asit Vora, pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill .

In a recent issue of the Journal of Emergency Medicine, a case study was presented on a 10-week-old boy who was brought to a hospital for ongoing fussiness and the appearance of blood flecks in his stool.

After extensive blood work and a CT scan, it was revealed that the baby had severe anemia and bleeding outside the brain. He was ultimately diagnosed with VKDB, which was a result of his parent’s refusal to consent to the injection at birth. Emergency physicians were able to stop the bleeding around the brain by giving the infant an infusion of vitamin K.

“Babies are born with extremely low levels of vitamin K, so it is critical they receive the injection for normal blood clotting,” says Dr. Vora. “The injection is not a vaccine, but simply a boost of a vitamin that helps prevent serious and life-threatening conditions.”

The injection is typically given to newborns within hours after birth and has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1961.

Vitamin K poses no risks to newborns and only protects them from developing a potentially deadly bleeding problem, Dr. Vora says.

Related Posts



  1. Thank you for publishing this article. I spent several years working in “natural” birth circles and the misconceptions about the Vitamin K supplement were overwhelming. It is such a simple, low cost, and almost no risk intervention — and it saves lives.

  2. joanne denison July 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm · Reply

    It’s hard to trust mega pharma and mega med when they are the leading cause of death in this country with over 800,000 deaths per year from FDA approved procedures, surgeries and drugs administered in accordance with FDA guidelines.
    In addition, you go to the doctor to get your vitamin C or D3 tested and they prescribe D2(which doesn’t work) and non lyposomal vitamin C.
    If the health care industry wants people to trust them it has to earn the trust.
    Vaccines are a disaster around the globe with very little testing and a whole lot of problems.
    Perhaps you can label the vitamin K a “supplement” and hand out literature on it soon after mom gives birth.
    It’s sad everyone has to google everthing–even while you’re at the doctor or hospital, they lie right to your face. I had one doc tell me go ahead and google drug X in her office. I did and it was filled with horror stories (Giardasil). Glad I did it and nixed it.
    In other countries they dispense herbs and vitamins and supplements before going to harsh drugs and while the US is the most expensive country to get sick it, it’s also the most dangerous. Other countries dispense mushroom extract, teach about the healing properties of mushrooms, they dispens vitamins B, C and D3 and MSM sulfur, etc.
    US Mega Health has got to get its act together, that’s all.

  3. When did they start giving this vitamin k injection. I don’t remember being asked about it when my son was born in 1984. And, I’m sure I never got it when I was born. What is the actual number of incidents out of number of births. Sometimes I think big pharmacy and the medical professionals scare people into getting some treatments. It is better to be completely truthful, i.e. the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  4. You know…sometimes….just sometimes, my innate desire to see my fellow human beings enjoy a healthy and productive life is tested by the ignorant things that come out of their minds. Joanne and Fay, I don’t know your life experiences. Perhaps you had a bad experience with a doctor or perhaps you really hate needles, or maybe perhaps you hate big business, but here’s the sitch… Dr’s and scientists don’t know everything, but we have a pretty good understanding of a lot of things (NOT all, but a lot). A lot of good people are in these fields because they want to contribute the little actual knowledge they do have for the benefit to those around them. If you don’t want to trust them for some bias, then that’s something you are going to have to live with. Especially if the thing they are trying to share with you could save a life. We are working with the best information that is available. No one is ignoring data for the bottom line. Companies might do that, but the people doing the research are not. So if you have peer reviewed articles and papers purporting the benefits of vaccines, then guess what? The science behind the vaccine is probably (NOT 100%, but like 99.91%) sound. It’s the company you might not like for taking said research and making a profit from it. But please don’t confuse the two. That’s what gets kids, adults, even babies killed or severely injured. The fact that there was a comment that inferred “google-ing” saved someone from a vaccine is so very sad. Hate to break another thing to the world…just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. Present irony noted. Please take the advice from your doctors and get your kids (and maybe even you as an adult) vaccinated. I don’t have any vested interest in “big pharma” just one in the wellbeing of my fellow human beings.

  5. Dear anon, it is comments like yours that make me question the research and knowledge of those who we should trust with our personal well being. I trust my doctors, and being a type 1 diabetic for over 40 years, I am NOT afraid of needles. However, you did NOT answer any of my questions. The knowledge doctors obtain comes from whom? The drug companies? Even doctors don’t know what they don’t know. Please give us enough credit to do our own research, not googling info. I go to medical sites, clinical studies, and other doctors for second and third opinions. Based on history, perhaps, and this is my personal opinion, the need to give infants vitamin k shots and other supplements is because our food supply no longer contains the nutrients the body needs. Yes, I am a proponent of Organic, non-GMO, non-processed food, and i am healthier for it.

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

Julie Nakis
Julie Nakis

Julie Nakis, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. She earned her BA in communications from the University of Iowa – Go Hawkeyes! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the city and cheering on the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks.