Dosage and duration of vitamin K to give to the baby
How to give vitamin K to your baby
Vitamin K for babies: intramuscular injection
It is advisable to give all breastfed babies a vitamin K supplement because this vitamin, which is necessary for blood clotting and prevents cerebral hemorrhage, is not present in breast milk. It is systematically given to the newborn at the maternity hospital.
Vitamin K for babies and coagulation factors
This vitamin K does not cross the placenta very much, even if the mother’s serum level of vitamin K is high. The newborn is not born with a high vitamin K reserve.
At birth, the serum level of vitamin K is low in all children (30 to 60% of the adult level). Then it increases rapidly during the first few weeks of life. Most healthy, full-term breastfed babies have a serum level close to that of an adult at six weeks of life. Formula-fed babies often have a level 10 times higher than adults after a few days of life (industrial milk contains vitamin K).
Bacteria make vitamin K in the colon, but not enough in breastfed infants.
Good to know: giving vitamin K to the newborn after delivery causes a rapid increase in vitamin K levels and vitamin K-related clotting factors.
Neonatal hemorrhage due to vitamin K deficiency
Neonatal bleeding is caused by insufficient clotting factors (proteins in the blood that stop bleeding).
Sometimes, some infants have a deficiency because of inadequate intake or a liver disorder.