Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vitamin K Shot for Newborns

First let me say that our first child had the vitamin K shot, but our second and third children did not because it did not seem necessary. Perhaps this makes me biased. However, we are firm believers in making sure our food gives us nutrition. So for those who are concerned or curious, here is why we were not interested in the vitamin K shot.

If your baby's cord is clamped after it stops pulsating then your baby gets all the blood he or she needs. This blood will help baby to have vitamin K as well. Plus, there is no need to treat a disease that is not occurring in a newborn. Yes, some babies DO have bleeding issues but it is rare. The symptoms of this disorder, called Vitamin K deficiency bleeding  or VKDB, include oozing at the cord stump site, blood in stool, or blood in urine (http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/hrnewborn/hrdn.html). Your child's chance of having this issue is estimated to be, "one in 10,000" (http://www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/services-and-treatments/maternity/what-happens/after-your-baby-is-born/vitamin-k/vkdb/).

If you are still considering the vitamin K shot then check out the ingredients. I had a tough time finding copies of the package inserts but was able to get the following information. There is benzyl alcohol which can cause"toxicity" in babies. Also, "Hemolysis, jaundice, and hyperbilirubinemia in newborns, particularly in premature infants, may be related to the dose of AquaMEPHYTON". "Hemolysis, jaundice, and hyperbilirubinemia in newborns, particularly in premature infants, may be related to the dose of AquaMEPHYTON" (http://web.archive.org/web/20070213093306/http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/SAFETY/2003/03Feb_PI/AquaMEPHYTON_PI.pdf ). When looking over a package insert notice that the vitamin K is synthetic, not from natural sources, and the dosage is always much higher than the recommended amount of vitamin K a baby should receive in a day (http://onlinehealthnews.org/2009/12/high-risks-to-your-baby-from-vitamin-k-shot-they-dont-warn-you-about/).

There also appear to be risks with the vitamin K shot. These risks are under-reported when they become injuries. However, the shot has been linked to leukemia as children age as well as anaphylaxis and infections at the injection site http://www.whale.to/vaccine/vitamin_k_shot.html. As a parent you need to do some research and find out if the benefits outweigh the risks.

If you choose to do a vitamin K supplement perhaps a better choice than a needle being shoved into your child's thigh, is to have nursing mom be sure to take the oral tablets. Even better, get he vitamin K from food (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=112)!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Items I Never Used

There are so many items marketed to soon to be parents these days. If you bought them all, then good for you, I hope you find them useful. Unfortunately, I never really used most items with my kids.

I change diapers on the bed, couch, floor, or while my kid is standing up so I never used a changing table. I don't use diaper cream because my kids are allergic to everything and breastmilk cures most things. We limit our use of baby wipes because of allergies as well. Warm water and a paper towel or regular towel work just fine.

With my first child I never bought a nursing pillow. With my second one was given as a gift. I realized quickly that I preferred the side-lying position or a pillow under baby more than the nursing. To be honest, I think the crib was a waste of money because bedsharing is so ingrained in a baby and toddler's brain. They need to be close to mom and dad so they instinctively prefer to co-sleep or bedshare in most situations.

With my first child I purchased too many clothing items and she grew out of them so very quick! Now I know that five to ten outfits is plenty for any of my kids and anything else is a bonus. Also, we have found that using less detergent plus HOT water takes care of funky smells and allergens better than more detergent and cold water.

I have learned that buying a noise machine is a great idea. However, purchasing multiple twenty dollar learning toys is a waste because my kids prefer daddy's soda box plus some paint or crayons. To this day all three of my kids prefer dollar section toys to toy section toys anyway. However,  concern is the potential for poor quality or carcinogens in these toys.

In short, I don't blame parents for buying all the new cool stuff. I do realize now that my family wasted money on many things we did not need. Now that we have three beautiful children, I am very glad to say that we have learned to purchase what our children need and a few extras for fun, not necessarily all the stuff we supposedly need according to society or baby magazines.