The Potential Dark Side of the Routine Newborn Vitamin K Shot


  • Specializes in BLS ,ALS ,NCP ,and maternal&child care. Has 1 years experience.
Vitamin K & Newborn

It has been standard practice in the US and most western countries since 1944 to welcome babies into the world by subjecting them to a variety of medical interventions, one of which is a jab with a syringe full of vitamin K.

This injection is routinely done to almost all newborns, unless you, as a parent, refuse to consent.

Birth is an overwhelming sensory experience for your baby. He has never before experienced sensations of cold or hunger, been blinded by artificial lights, or felt the touch of human hands or metal instruments, paper or cloth. Even gravity is a foreign sensation.

A needle stick can be a terrible assault to a baby's suddenly overloaded sensory system, which is trying to adjust to the outside world.

Interesting article I found about Vitamin K and the new born.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

My first response to this article:

Vitamin K - Newborn Nursery at LPCH - Stanford University School of Medicine

Second response:

I find it interesting that he calls a Vitamin K shot a 'vaccine' when it is not. A clear misuse of the word, and it calls into question (for me at least) his credibility in the rest of the article. (Some things Dr. Mercola does get right, but this article doesn't seem like one.) Either he doesn't understand what a vaccine is, or he doesn't understand what Vitamin K is.....or both.

I also find it interesting that he writes a lot about not inflicting pain on newborns, but a few paragraphs up, he more or less says, "If you're going to circumcise, here's when to do it...." without bothering to mention that circumcision is itself pain inflicted by man.

His list of references is pretty thin, not to mention old. All his peer-reviewed references deal with infant/neonatal pain. The rest are written by individuals and not reviewed by peers before publication, which is a gold standard. And it's better if sources on the actual subject matter (Vitamin K) are more recent than, say, 1993.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pretty granola. I don't have any problem with parents refusing anything, including Vitamin K for their kid. I do seriously believe that when possible, Nature's/God's design for things should be left well enough alone. However, we also resuscitate newborns in the delivery room that, if we were to leave things to Nature/God, would never breathe. Interventions do have their place. On the whole, Vitamin K has prevented a whole lot more harm than it has allegedly caused.