Latest Updates

Vitamin K for newborns

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient needed  by the body to clot blood and stop bleeding. We get vitamin K from the foods we eat . Some good bacteria that live in our intestines also make vitamin K.
vitamin K

Why does my baby need vitamin K

All newborns are born with low levels of vitamin K in their bodies. This is due to lower vitamin K   stores and decreased ability to utilize vitamin K. This deficiency puts babies  at risk of  vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB ).


How dangerous is VKDB

VKDB can cause your baby to bleed or bruise  spontaneously. This can happen within 12 weeks of childbirth. Some of the symptoms may include bleeding from the mouth, nose, umbilical stump or bottom. In some babies, this bleeding may not be visible. It may be a serious bleeding in the brain or gut. This can be life threatening.  It is therefore strongly recommended that all babies receive vitamin K after birth.


There are three categories of VKDB


  • early VKDB which is bleeding in the first 24 hours after birth
  • classic VKDB which is bleeding in the first week of life
  • late VKDB which is bleeding from about 2 to 12 weeks of life

According to the American Academy of pediatrics, it is estimated that  the risk of late VKDB is about 81 times higher in infants not given vitamin K prophylaxis at birth.


Other factors that puts your baby at high risk of getting VKDB include the following :

  • born premature
  • breathing difficulties at birth
  • bruising at birth
  • born by forceps, ventouse or cesarean section
  • have liver problems
  • moms took medication for either epilepsy, tuberculosis or to prevent blood clots during pregnancy


The American Academy of pediatrics strongly recommends that all babies should be given a single, intramuscular dose of 0.5 to 1 mg. They also recommend  that health care professionals promote the awareness of VKDB and it’s association to  inadequate vitamin K prophylaxis from current oral dosage regimens, particularly for newborns who are breastfed.
Content Sources

Where we stand :Vitamin K Administration. American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed July 30, 2015
Vitamin K . Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation – See more at: . Accessed July 30 , 2015
Vitamin K. Baby Center. .Accessed July 30, 2015

June 15, 2019 | 10:48 30    By oohs N coos    

Leave a Reply



This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.