3

votes

Paleo newborns: Vitamin K shot and eye ointment?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 16, 2010 at 2:19 AM

Yes or no.

Why or why not?

Thanks in advance!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on February 22, 2011
at 04:36 AM

@Dana, thanks, interesting about the practice in Japan. I'm not sure whether K1 or K2 is "better" for newborns. I don't know if the relative needs for K1 vs. K2 in newborns have been studied in detail. Also, there is some interconversion back and forth between K1 and K2. I have no idea what the interconversion rates are in newborns.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:13 AM

I would not delay testing for metabolic diseases that long. Some of them are affected by breast milk. You got lucky.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Not to mention the shots are K1, not K2. K1's just about worthless compared to K2.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:11 AM

In Japan they give babies vitamin K2 shots instead of K1. If you ask me, that is a better approach. Our conversion of K1 is slipshod at best, as it is with all the fat-soluble vitamin precursors. So if they're not going to give babies the right vitamin, I question why give them the shot at all. I could see it for the child of a mother who ate a completely inadequate diet, but that's about it.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:09 AM

I refused the Hep B vaccine for my daughter when she was born. I'd been vaccinated against it in the past and it's a sexually transmitted disease--why in the world would she have it? She got it later on at a well-baby appointment. We live in a city so I'm a bit itchy about completely going without them.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 21, 2010
at 01:47 PM

Wellllll, there are more vaccines that we will take a pass on, than we will get! It's a pretty contentious issue to discuss openly (religion, politics and health all rolled into one!), and I am still not 100% on just what we will do, perhaps this is another question to lob out!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 20, 2010
at 11:12 PM

Want to expound on on vaccines? :)

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 11:10 PM

(continued)...The leukemia reference is outdated. Vitamin K injections have not been found to cause leukemia in recent studies. The risks of vitamin K injections include allergic reactions and hemolytic anemia. Here is a more balanced discussion of the uses and risks of vitamin K, with more recent citations: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-vitamink.html . I would speculate that vitamin K deficiency in newborns is probably caused by SAD in the mother, but I haven't seen any studies on this. Cheers,

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 10:57 PM

@Patrik--I'm sorry if I took offense where none was intended. The blog post link you list strikes me as somewhat sensationalized. I don't have time to analyze it in detail, but examples of inaccuracies include the fact that newborns do have a functioning liver, otherwise they would die. It would be more accurate to say that liver function increases in the first 4 days of life. Also, synthetic vitamin K1 is chemically identical to natural vitamin K1 ( http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary.cgi?sid=5148 ). But of course nutrients in context are healthier than isolated nutrients...

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:43 PM

@Ed -- any thoughts on this blog post? http://thehealthyhomeeconomist.blogspot.com/2010/03/skip-that-newborn-vitamin-k-shot.html

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:42 PM

@Ed -- my comment was hardly disparaging (it even thanks you!). And it accurately reflects what the MDs I spoke with mentioned. Your link is interesting -- I would like to ask you -- what would cause a vitamin K deficiency in a newborn? And what risks are associated with treating a newborn with vitamin K?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 12:14 AM

I stand by my answer. If you google "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn" you can read literally thousands of articles about vitamin K deficiency in newborns. I admit that brain damage is rare from this condition, but it can and does happen ( http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-156123335.html ). Please do your homework before writing such a disparaging comment.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 17, 2010
at 10:39 PM

@Ed --- Thanks for your answer, but I think you have a few things mixed up. None of the MDs we spoke to claim that a vitamin K deficiency exists for a newborn, as well as even if it did, it would cause excessive bleeding or even stroke.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 09:13 PM

Ed, you bet! It is a minefield out there for us all.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 16, 2010
at 05:18 PM

Thanks Tim. I have great respect for autonomous parents such as you who do their homework and reach well-informed decisions about their baby's health. Congratulations to Fritz on his "3-month-b-day"--and on his choice of parents!

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:46 PM

As yet, no, but there are certain vaccines I am still on the fence about. With the potential of international travel, and entry to the general population (school etc) there are some vaccinations that can/do make sense. There are advantages to modern medicine, I am not simply a "denier" but am trying to be informed of all the benefits/risks.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:17 PM

Does your approach include vaccines?

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:02 PM

"Ed" has given great info in numerous aspects on Paleo Hacks, and I do think this is another. "Yes and Yes" in regards to populations, but not so much in individuals? As my own journey into parenthood has unfolded, I've had a lot of learning to do. So glad I'd gone Paleo and started learning long before having the kid! But there are many shots, procedures and such for a new parent to consider. Skipping the K shot and the eye ointment was the right choice for us, but indeed on a population level, maybe the two are legit.

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6 Answers

5
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on July 16, 2010
at 02:55 AM

As a new dad (my boy, Fritz, is 3 months old today), I can tell you we skipped every thing that put any foreign object in the boy's body. From the moment of birth, he was laid upon his mother's bare skin and immediately began to suckle. No wiping washing weighing measuring poking prodding or other abuses where laid upon the boy. No shots, no eye ointment. His mother received no drugs, so no danger of things passing to him.

My wife and I live clean, no STDs, no hepatitis exposure, no risk factors in that regard, so no need for the standard regime of shots and such. We both ate very clean local meats, wild game, and such pre pregnancy and the duration, just to maximize our kid's chances.

Vitamin K in a shot just does not seem needed for a baby grown is such a hospitable nutritional environment. Plus he's got perfect baby food available, grown for him by his very own mother from proper foods.

Vit K and silver ointment in the eyes boiled down more to CW proving to us it was safe or called for in our particular situation. Both seemed more a risk than a necessity.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:46 PM

As yet, no, but there are certain vaccines I am still on the fence about. With the potential of international travel, and entry to the general population (school etc) there are some vaccinations that can/do make sense. There are advantages to modern medicine, I am not simply a "denier" but am trying to be informed of all the benefits/risks.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 21, 2010
at 01:47 PM

Wellllll, there are more vaccines that we will take a pass on, than we will get! It's a pretty contentious issue to discuss openly (religion, politics and health all rolled into one!), and I am still not 100% on just what we will do, perhaps this is another question to lob out!

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:17 PM

Does your approach include vaccines?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 20, 2010
at 11:12 PM

Want to expound on on vaccines? :)

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:09 AM

I refused the Hep B vaccine for my daughter when she was born. I'd been vaccinated against it in the past and it's a sexually transmitted disease--why in the world would she have it? She got it later on at a well-baby appointment. We live in a city so I'm a bit itchy about completely going without them.

4
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 16, 2010
at 03:02 AM

Yes and yes.

Vitamin K1 is used to make vital blood clotting factors. Vitamin K1 deficiency can cause excessive bleeding or stroke in young infants. Breast milk can be deficient in vitamin K1 (perhaps modern breast milk differs from paleolithic breast milk in vitamin K content). You can substitute oral vitamin K, but K1 supplementation in early infancy is a good idea.

Ocular gonorrhea is a rapidly progressive infection in newborns that can cause blindness or even death. Antibiotic ointment prevents most cases of ocular gonorrhea and chlamydia in infants. On a population basis, this is a very cost-effective treatment, but you may decide it's not indicated in your particular situation. Maternal gonorrhea and chlamydia infections are very common and often asymptomatic. A negative test early in pregnancy does not guarantee lack of infection at delivery.

In most hospitals, you have the right to refuse vitamin K and antibiotic eye ointment. However, CW is not always wrong just because it's conventional.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 09:13 PM

Ed, you bet! It is a minefield out there for us all.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 16, 2010
at 05:18 PM

Thanks Tim. I have great respect for autonomous parents such as you who do their homework and reach well-informed decisions about their baby's health. Congratulations to Fritz on his "3-month-b-day"--and on his choice of parents!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:43 PM

@Ed -- any thoughts on this blog post? http://thehealthyhomeeconomist.blogspot.com/2010/03/skip-that-newborn-vitamin-k-shot.html

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 12:14 AM

I stand by my answer. If you google "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn" you can read literally thousands of articles about vitamin K deficiency in newborns. I admit that brain damage is rare from this condition, but it can and does happen ( http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-156123335.html ). Please do your homework before writing such a disparaging comment.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 11:10 PM

(continued)...The leukemia reference is outdated. Vitamin K injections have not been found to cause leukemia in recent studies. The risks of vitamin K injections include allergic reactions and hemolytic anemia. Here is a more balanced discussion of the uses and risks of vitamin K, with more recent citations: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-vitamink.html . I would speculate that vitamin K deficiency in newborns is probably caused by SAD in the mother, but I haven't seen any studies on this. Cheers,

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 17, 2010
at 10:39 PM

@Ed --- Thanks for your answer, but I think you have a few things mixed up. None of the MDs we spoke to claim that a vitamin K deficiency exists for a newborn, as well as even if it did, it would cause excessive bleeding or even stroke.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on July 16, 2010
at 02:02 PM

"Ed" has given great info in numerous aspects on Paleo Hacks, and I do think this is another. "Yes and Yes" in regards to populations, but not so much in individuals? As my own journey into parenthood has unfolded, I've had a lot of learning to do. So glad I'd gone Paleo and started learning long before having the kid! But there are many shots, procedures and such for a new parent to consider. Skipping the K shot and the eye ointment was the right choice for us, but indeed on a population level, maybe the two are legit.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 18, 2010
at 08:42 PM

@Ed -- my comment was hardly disparaging (it even thanks you!). And it accurately reflects what the MDs I spoke with mentioned. Your link is interesting -- I would like to ask you -- what would cause a vitamin K deficiency in a newborn? And what risks are associated with treating a newborn with vitamin K?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on July 18, 2010
at 10:57 PM

@Patrik--I'm sorry if I took offense where none was intended. The blog post link you list strikes me as somewhat sensationalized. I don't have time to analyze it in detail, but examples of inaccuracies include the fact that newborns do have a functioning liver, otherwise they would die. It would be more accurate to say that liver function increases in the first 4 days of life. Also, synthetic vitamin K1 is chemically identical to natural vitamin K1 ( http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary.cgi?sid=5148 ). But of course nutrients in context are healthier than isolated nutrients...

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:11 AM

In Japan they give babies vitamin K2 shots instead of K1. If you ask me, that is a better approach. Our conversion of K1 is slipshod at best, as it is with all the fat-soluble vitamin precursors. So if they're not going to give babies the right vitamin, I question why give them the shot at all. I could see it for the child of a mother who ate a completely inadequate diet, but that's about it.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on February 22, 2011
at 04:36 AM

@Dana, thanks, interesting about the practice in Japan. I'm not sure whether K1 or K2 is "better" for newborns. I don't know if the relative needs for K1 vs. K2 in newborns have been studied in detail. Also, there is some interconversion back and forth between K1 and K2. I have no idea what the interconversion rates are in newborns.

3
37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

on July 16, 2010
at 03:17 AM

If it was me, no way would I allow my newborn to be supplemented with Vitamin K. Such supplementation is not without risk (http://vaclib.org/basic/vitamin-k.htm) and for a healthy baby boy, unless he is going to be circumcised immediately after birth, where clotting of the blood will be necessary as a result of the surgical procedure (vitamin K and prothrombin are necessary for blood clotting), there should be no reason for this to be done.

In a quick search on the web I cannot find an original cite, but Dr. Emmett Holt, of Holt Pediatrics fame (http://archives.med.nyu.edu/collections/findingaids/holt.html), demonstrated that vitamin K levels (while very low in a newborn the first few days of life) are normal on the eighth day after a child is born, and that a related factor in blood clotting, prothrombin, is at the highest levels it will ever be in the life of the newborn, on the eighth day after birth, higher than at any other time of life.

You might also want to check out this blog post on the dangers on vitamin k shots for newborns: http://bit.ly/a2vTlM

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 16, 2010
at 03:36 AM

I'd make sure the mother had very good levels of K (and everything else healthy) in her blood during the entire gestation and breast feeding. As long as the mother is healthy with healthy levels, K should be sufficient in the child at birth. Nature is not so stupid as to not provide the baby with what it needs. Considering the crappy diet that many mother's consume (full of 'healthy' grains), I am not surprised that many babies have problems. But the problem with trying to shoot the baby full of all kinds of 'fixes' is we do not know what we are doing in the first place and we are medicating all babies because of the problems of a few. Interesting link here: http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol13No2/vitk.htm Apparently, there was a big stink about k injections potentially causing cancer. SOme studies found this but a later study seems to have debunked it. I do see that some types of K supplements seem to be potentially toxic. I'd look into what type of injection is planned and see if that is one of the potentially toxic forms. The truth is we do not know for sure what is a natural and healthy level of K for a baby. It's only an assumption that the baby's level should be equal to an adult's level.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Not to mention the shots are K1, not K2. K1's just about worthless compared to K2.

1
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on July 16, 2010
at 03:16 AM

No and no. Why? I wanted as natural, unassisted births as possible. My pregnancies and labors were uncomplicated, I was free of any infections/health problems so I didn't see the need. I withheld any shots and tests (PKU) until 2 weeks post partum. Without shots/pokes there isn't the need for VitK. But that's just my humble opinion.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:13 AM

I would not delay testing for metabolic diseases that long. Some of them are affected by breast milk. You got lucky.

0
Dc12fef4f7c25d968ab11be99f3eaba7

(45)

on July 19, 2010
at 01:56 AM

Tim--I'd be interested to hear more about which vaccines you think might be necesarry and which ones you are skipping.

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