Vitamin K injection for babies better than oral intake with drops

For a long time, the advice is to give newborn babies who are breastfed daily 150 micrograms of vitamin K drops in the first 12 weeks. The Health Council recently issued a new recommendation. Instead of drops with vitamin K is one vitamin K injection for babies probably better to prevent bleeding in the event of a disturbed fat intake.

It can not be determined in advance whether your baby belongs to this group or not. For that reason it is wise to give each newborn a vitamin K injection. This ensures better absorption and less chance of bleeding.

Vitamin K baby. Why?

With a newborn baby, the intestines need to be further developed. The intestines contain the few 12 weeks too few intestinal bacteria that can produce vitamin K. Vitamin K reduces the risk of internal bleeding because it allows blood to clot. These bleeding can sometimes have major consequences such as lifelong disability or your baby can die from it.
For that reason it is very important that this vitamin is given to newborn babies who are breastfed. Infants who are bottle-fed do not need extra vitamin K as they have been added to the bottle formula.

Why is vitamin K injection for babies better than oral drops?

A vitamin K injection works more effectively in the prevention of internal bleeding in babies who have a disturbed fat intake. A disturbed fat intake is a condition that can occur with every child. It means that your baby can absorb less fat from the diet and therefore less vitamin K.

The reason why a vitamin K injection works better than oral drops is because it is better absorbed. In addition, the disadvantage of oral drops is that you have to give the drops daily to your baby. You can not skip a day because you forget about it. It can also occur that the absorption of vitamin K decreases when your baby has diarrhea. These disadvantages do not have an injection.

How does the Health Council come to this advice?

The Health Council has not done any direct research into the absorption of vitamin K. However, they have compared data from different countries. In the Netherlands, more bleeding has occurred in recent years in breast-fed babies than in other countries. For this reason, in 2010 the dosage of vitamin K in babies was already increased. Unfortunately, this did not lead to a reduction in bleeding in babies with a disturbed fat intake.
In Denmark, a vitamin K injection at birth was given for several years. From the moment this was done there were no more bleeding in babies. For this reason, the Health Council has adopted this advice.

For whom does this advice apply?

This advice applies to all newborn babies who are breastfed. Infants who are bottle-fed do not need an injection.
It is good to give your baby 1 milligram of vitamin K orally every day.
Do you have questions about the vitamin K injection for babies? Then contact your doctor or midwife!

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