Every newborn needs to get vitamin K by injection. The benefits of vitamin K are to help the blood clotting process and prevent bleeding that can occur in babies.
Newborns have very little amount of vitamin K in their bodies. Though vitamin K is needed in the process of blood clotting. That is why babies who are deficient in vitamin K are prone to bleeding. If not prevented, this condition can harm the baby.
One of the causes of low levels of vitamin K in a newborn’s body is the undeveloped good bacteria that produce vitamin K in the baby’s intestines. In addition, this condition also occurs due to the intake of vitamin K that is not absorbed properly by the placenta when the baby is in the womb.
Lack of vitamin K in the body can trigger the appearance of extensive bruising just because of a minor injury. Not only that, vitamin K deficiency can also cause small wounds to continue to bleed.
To meet the needs of vitamin K, newborns are usually given vitamin K injections. After they get older, vitamin K can be obtained from bacteria in the intestines and foods consumed daily, such as spinach, broccoli, soybeans, meat, eggs, liver, and fish.
Benefits of Vitamin K in Newborns
The benefits of vitamin K for newborns is to prevent bleeding in various organs of the body, such as the brain, stomach, and intestines. Bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency is called Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB).
The baby’s risk of developing VKDB will be higher if he has certain medical conditions, such as biliary atresia, hepatitis, chronic diarrhea, and trypsin deficiency. This risk does not only occur in the first days since the baby’s birth, but until the baby can consume solid food or at the age of 6 months.
If the bleeding occurs in part of the brain, the baby is at risk for permanent brain damage. In addition to the brain, the baby can also experience bleeding in other body parts, such as the gastrointestinal tract, nose (nosebleeds), to the umbilical cord.
Babies who bleed heavily often need blood transfusions or even have surgery.
How to Meet the Needs of Vitamin K in Newborns
Bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency can be prevented easily. The trick is to give an injection of vitamin K into the thigh muscles of the baby immediately after he is born.
Sometimes the injection of vitamin K can be delayed up to 6 hours after the baby is born so that the mother can initiate early breastfeeding first. Once injected, most of the vitamin K is stored in the liver and used in the blood clotting process.
Giving vitamin K can be done in other ways, namely dripping vitamin K supplements in the form of drops. However, its absorption is less good when compared to vitamin K given by injection.
Therefore, by far the most common administration of vitamin K to newborns is by injection.
In addition to injections, vitamin K intake in newborns can also be obtained from breast milk. Busui can provide exclusive breastfeeding to meet the vitamin K needs of the little one, even though the amount of vitamin K contained in breast milk is only small.
Just like adults, babies may experience pain at the injection site. To relieve the pain that your baby feels during the injection, ask your doctor or midwife to give the injection while the baby is breastfeeding.
Vitamin K has been shown to be safe and essential for newborns. If you have questions about the administration and benefits of vitamin K, consult your doctor again for further explanation.