Deadly Decisions: Why Baby’s Vitamin K Shot IS Necessary

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These days, more and more parents are electing to refuse vaccinations. Some say, “They don’t seem natural.” Others fear exposure of unnecessary toxins and developmental risks. But parents who opt out of those essential newborn shots, like the Vitamin K injection, may find themselves dealing with some serious consequences.

Without the Vitamin K injection, infants “have an 81 times greater chance of coming down with late stage VKDB.”

An outbreak of infant Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) has caused some parents to second-guess their original beliefs.  

VKDB is real. And the consequential sickness and multiple brain bleeds are dangerous.

Take the Shaker’s story as an example:

“When the Shaker family had their twins, they decided against immunizations.

Melissa Shaker told Ivanhoe, ‘Immunizations don’t seem very natural. So I just wanted to stay away from them at least for a year.’

But two months after bringing the boys home, baby Silas turned very pale.

‘Like he looked like he was dying white. It was scary,’ Melissa Shaker told Ivanhoe.

Father of baby Silas, Mark Shaker told Ivanhoe, ‘One of the first questions that was asked of her in the hospital was did you get the vitamin K shot?’

The Shakers hadn't. Silas had vitamin K deficiency and suffered multiple brain bleeds.”

The Shakers aren't the only family encountering these scary circumstances. Last year, “five infants were admitted to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, with life-threatening bleeding. The infants were diagnosed with late Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)—four of the infants had bleeding in the brain, and one had bleeding in the intestines.”

{ MORE: Science Finally Proves Pregnancy is Pretty Much Like Running a Marathon }

If you’re shaking your finger at me because you've heard that the Vitamin K shot can cause Leukemia, you should know that: 1) That theory was utterly debunked a long time ago; 2) The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that infants receive Vitamin K shots after birth since 1961 (and after 20 years of published research); and 3) If you’re worried about potential “toxins,” you can always ask your hospital for the preservative-free version.

Vitamin K is a clotting vitamin. Without it, our blood would not clot – our bodies would bleed excessively. Adults get their daily requirements through foods like kale, turnips, and cabbage (or, if the majority of Vitamin K-rich foods taste nasty to you too, through dietary supplements); but infants, particularly exclusively breastfed infants (“levels of vitamin K in breast milk are low, much lower than in infant formula”), need the injection at birth to ensure their health.

{ MORE: Baby Health: What's Normal After Shots? }

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As parents, our main concerns are to love and raise our children as best as we can, so that they can become healthy, happy adults. We need to consider our instincts and check out ALL of our available sources of information, before making life-altering decisions. Social media shouldn't be where you find your most valued, reputable, go-to information … even if your BFF and Aunt Polly have seriously convincing experiences to share with you.

Did you, or are you planning to, refuse your newborn’s Vitamin K shot?

What do you think?

Deadly Decisions: Why Baby’s Vitamin K Shot IS Necessary

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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21 comments

  1. Ash says:

    Parents need to know why Vitamin K shots are pushed and when blood clotting is an issue (ie. traumatic births and certain diseases). This article lacked this important information, so it’s hard to not feel that it’s biased or “paid off.”

  2. Rachel says:

    So glad to see that I’m not the only one who refused vitamin K (and all other vaccines) for both my kids who are in consequence so very naturally strong and healthy. Kudos to all you smart and strong mothers for sticking with your gut (and viable research) in standing up to these doctors who can be very strong bullies about it. And yes I do think that they are paid by the pharmaceutical companies to do so. For all you doubters that think “but omg my baby will die!”…well if t that were the case like another commenter said our human race would’ve died out a long time ago. For future moms who have yet to make their “deadly decision” (scare tactics again) just do what know in your own gut is right and research research research!! When you find out what all disgusting ingredients are in vaccinations you’ll never want to put them in your sweet innocent little cherub. Oh btw my 2 kids hardly ever get sick compared to their vaccinated counterparts! What the vaccines do is destroy and weaken the immune system which we all naturally have to fight off viruses.

  3. Alison says:

    I am so tired of seeing these poorly written articles coming to my inbox from everyday family. Basically every article says just take every vaccine, injection, medication possible and don’t question any of them or else terrible things will happen to your child.

    Why the scare tactics?

    Why not let people make informed decisions on what to inject into their children?

    What are you afraid of?

    Do you get funded by pharmaceutical companies?

    I seriously don’t get it. I am unsubscribing from this nonsense.

    For mothers on the fence out there -try oral Vit K drops. No injections and the dose won’t be as unnaturally high. Good luck…

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi Alison – Thank you for your feedback. Our blogs are written by authors who are sharing their own opinion on various topics. The topics concerning vaccinations have all been presenting recent studies or topics in the news. We also have many things on the site about natural parenting, which we hope you’ve explored as well. Thanks again!

  4. Kate says:

    Wow. You really don’t understand this issue.

    1) Vit K shot is NOT a vaccine. You keep acting like they are interchangeable, and they’re not. Vaccines are used to attempt to prevent diseases by introducing a small amount of the bacteria or virus with an adjuvant to produce an immune response. Vit K is, as you said, just a vitamin that is necessary for life.

    2) Late-onset VKPD is *exceedingly* rare. There are about 5 cases per year. Stating that you have an “81 times greater chance” without explaining how rare it still is makes the risk look much greater than it is.

    3) Vitamin K shot is not “necessary.” The *vast majority* of babies who do not get it will do just fine. You’ve made it sound like babies absolutely have to have it or they will have problems, which is just not true. And if it WERE true, the human race would have died out thousands of years ago.

    4) Vitamin K is low in newborns for a reason. Levels in *healthy* babies will rebound to mostly normal by 8 days of life. The babies who have VKPD don’t rebound for some reason, which likely has to do with poor gut flora (possibly caused by c-section birth, poor maternal flora, etc.). That’s because vit K is made from their food in their gut. Testing babies who show any allergic symptoms or who have family histories of disorders related to poor gut health could help to identify at-risk babies.

    5) Breastmilk is low in vit K, but it’s very well absorbed. Breastmilk is also low in iron, but it’s the same situation. High levels of synthetic vitamins is not actually preferable to the design of breastmilk.

    Bottom line? Whether you choose the vit K shot or not (which is, again, NOT a vaccine, and there are not “outbreaks” of VKPD), your baby is extremely unlikely to have any issues. If your baby has suffered from trauma at birth, if you have a blood clotting disorder, if you have an autoimmune disease, if you have a family history of intestinal disorders or allergies — then you may consider a vit K shot or possibly oral vitamin K. But this is really only necessary in certain risk categories, NOT across the board.

    Please do more research next time. You’re unnecessarily scaring parents.

    • Grayce says:

      I’m SO GLAD I read the comments after reading that terrible article. Thanks for the reassurance in my decision to not do the Vitamin K shot 🙂

    • E says:

      TY for stating the facts w/out the hype this “article” uses!!

    • Larissa says:

      Glad your educated!!
      Maybe you should consider starting a blog!! 😉
      It’s amazing how people can twist and alter studies and “facts” to accomplish Their motives.
      Vit k only became main stream in 1995…
      There was a recall a few years back on vit k where I live, they had 3400 people return “2 YEARS” later to Re-vaccinate their kids!! Do people not think ( what are the Doctors doing/thinking??)… A 2 year old is past the risk of Newborn vit k deficiency bleeding!! They made it!!
      It’s sad we put so much trust in others… Especially those out to make money!!

  5. SarahMay says:

    We refused the Vit K shot….all is well. 8.5 months later. We also refused the STD eye good and haven’t vaccinated….yet.

  6. Katherine says:

    Good article. When I was making the decision on whether or not to vaccinate, someone recommend Dr Sears vaccine book. It was so helpful. It gave me the pros and cons to the vaccines and let me decide on each individually. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in what the vaccines have in them and what the sickness they prevent can do.

    • E says:

      He is very pro vax, so take what he says w/a grain of salt if you actually want unbiased into. Anybody can Google & find the ingredients of vaccines, no book necessary.

  7. Fccastillo says:

    My son is now 17 months and is very healthy, not once have I needed to take him to the doctor besides the normal check ups. I did my very own extensive research on vaccines, read all the baby books magazines being that he is my first child. I made the decision to give him all the recommended vaccinations and not once has he had a reaction to them. I received all the recommended shots and vaccines while I was pregnant as well. I think parents need to do the research and weigh out the pros and cons for themselves to truly understand what decision to make for the most important thing in their lives, each and every child is different and is effected different by the vaccines so do your research before opting in or out.

  8. Ambur says:

    Well, we opted out and our son has been perfectly healthy. I know that bad things can happen to people sometimes. But in life we all weigh the benefit vs risk. Also, I would think that like all other vitimins, vitimins k in breastmilk would be much easier absorbed into the infants system. Breastmilk has low amounts of iron. But it is almost completely absorbed. And babies start synthasizing vitimin k at about 8 days old.

    • Bridgett says:

      Humans don’t make Vitamin K on their own and we don’t absorb it very well either. The bacteria in our guts make it but babies do not have much bacteria to make it. Breastmilk has very little amounts of Vitamin K, only having 1-2 microgram per litre.

      • E says:

        The amount of vitamin K in breastmilk depends upon the mother’s diet & she can absolutely eat extra spinach, fermented foods, etc. to boost her vitamin k.

  9. anca says:

    Vitamin K drops are very effective and much less dangerous then the regular vitamin K shot

  10. anca says:

    Yes, I refused the vitamin K shot but got Vitamin K drops for my newborn baby! They were effective. do believe parents need to do more of their own research before blindly following conventional dr’s advice

  11. Tosha says:

    Wow! I am glad I read this article! I am a mother who feels very iffy about vaccinations. It scares me because I do not trust all doctors and I have felt that you never know what could be put in these vaccinations. But I have never actually refused any vaccination at the hospital when my children were born; only the flu vaccination. But that gives me an outlook to see I should do extensive research before making these kinds of decisions. Even though we are trying to protect our children, we may be hurting them more.

    • E says:

      Beware, this article is very poorly written & full of nothing but scare tactics.

      You are very right though, in trying to protect our children we may be harming them more.

      There are definitely times when vitamin K may be necessary (c section, forceps, mama has a liver disease, etc.) but to do anything across the board is crazy. Vitamin K becomes “necessary” when a baby boy is circumcised, other than that, it should be viewed as a case by case basis and the birth as a whole considered (gentle birth = not recommended, birth w/interventions = recommended) before anything is done routinely.

      • Kelley says:

        I think both sides are using scare tactics. The facts are that many sicknesses are coming back to the world because we are not using vaccinations like they are recommended. Unless your child has a medical condition that prevents a vaccination please consider getting the shots. Not only does it protect your child it protects people that can’t get the shots but can get sick from outbreaks of diseases.

        • Lmgreen says:

          I vaccinated my daughters with everything the doctors recommended and my girls 10yrs and 11months are very heathy I think parents have a huge responsibility to make sure that there kids health is top priority it seems that some parents are very one track minded and only take into consideration the bad things that have happened to SOME children when they were vaccinated. It really is so important to get your kids vaccinated the good absolutely out ways the bad. You know a long time ago there were no vaccines and look at all the diseases and illnesses people died from. I didn’t see where this article used scare tactics I thinks it’s simply an article that is just trying to make us aware of the reasons why children should be vaccinated that’s all. One response actually said to google the ingredients of the vaccines is this really what we as parents use for our kids doctors now? This is crazy google nothing ask your doctor and if you don’t feel you doctor is giving you the best advise then I think it’s time for a new doctor but I can almost guarantee you won’t find a doctor that tells you not to vaccinate.

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