What does vitamin K injection do in the body?


Understanding Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting, activating essential molecules in our bodies for this process. Unlike some vitamins, our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin K, so we rely on dietary sources like leafy greens such as spinach and kale, as well as cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, avocado, and banana. When vitamin K levels drop too low, it can lead to spontaneous bleeding.

Why do newborns require a shot of vitamin K?

Newborns are born with very low levels of vitamin K, putting them at risk of vitamin K deficient bleeding (VKDB), a potentially fatal bleeding disorder affecting multiple organs. Administering a vitamin K shot at birth significantly reduces this risk, protecting newborns from bruising and bleeding complications.

Why do breastfed babies have lower levels of vitamin K?

Breast milk contains minimal vitamin K, whereas formula provides higher levels. Consequently, exclusively breastfed babies are more susceptible to VKDB. Therefore, the vitamin K shot at birth becomes especially crucial for exclusively breastfed infants.

Are there side effects from the Vitamin K shot?

In the past, newborns occasionally experienced allergic reactions to intravenous vitamin K administration. However, this method is now reserved for babies already diagnosed with VKDB. Side effects from the vitamin K shot are exceedingly rare.

Can pregnant people boost their baby’s Vitamin K levels?

Increasing vitamin K intake during pregnancy doesn’t significantly impact a baby’s vitamin K levels, as minimal transfer occurs from mother to baby in utero. However, exclusively breastfeeding mothers may consider augmenting their vitamin K intake or taking supplements to potentially enhance vitamin K levels in breast milk.

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