Immediately after birth babies receive an injection of vitamin K. What is vitamin K? Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting, so it is a very important nutrient. Babies are born with a very small amount of vitamin K in their bodies, and are not able to produce for themselves, so the injection of vitamin K that puts a baby at birth protects them from developing severe bleeding.
Vitamin K is obtained from foods and is also produced by intestinal bacteria. When a baby is born, your intestinal tract does not have enough bacteria to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin K. In addition, vitamin K is not easily transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy, nor in sufficient quantities passes through breast milk .
Babies need time to be able to produce their own vitamin K in sufficient quantities. The injection of vitamin K they receive immediately after birth allows the baby's blood to clot, and therefore protects against a possible abnormal bleeding.
If a baby does not receive an injection of vitamin K immediately after birth is at risk for a disease called bleeding deficiency in vitamin K. The lack of enough vitamin K increases the risk of bleeding in the intestines or brain.
What is vitamin K and why is it so important?
Vitamin K plays an important role in the formation of blood clots. A very small number of infants (about 1 in 10,000) suffers from vitamin deficiency bleeding K. Formerly this condition called neonatal hemorrhagic disease. Because these babies do not have enough vitamin K in your body, they can bleed easily through the nose or mouth, or may suffer very serious internal bleeding. To prevent this problem, in the United States an intramuscular injection is administered at a dose of 0.5 to 1 milligrams of vitamin K to newborns.
Are there babies who are most at risk for vitamin K deficiency?
There are some babies who may be at greater risk for a deficiency. These babies are:
- born before the 37th week of pregnancy
- born with the help of forceps, vacuum or cesarean
- who they have suffered bruises or bruises during childbirth
- who have difficulty breathing at birth
- who have liver problems
- whose mothers have taken during pregnancy epilepsy drugs to prevent blood clots, or tuberculosis.
Would not it be better to inject vitamin K only to infants who are at high risk of deficiency?
Approximately one third of babies suffering from bleeding Vitamin K deficiency not belong to any of the risk categories. Although there is often a first sign of this disease in the form of a small loss of blood from the nose or mouth, the first manifestation could be a serious bleeding in the brain or internal organs of the baby, which could be fatal. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends preventive apply to all newborns injection.
What I can do to help prevent vitamin K deficiency in my baby? If you're going to breastfeed your baby, be sure to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth. Before you raise the milk you will produce a liquid called colostrum that is full of nutrients, antibodies and inm.