Vitamin K Shot After Birth – Worth the Risk?

 

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If you are about to have your first baby, you are already becoming aware of the many procedures and precautions that are standard for care in the U.S. throughout the process of pregnancy and birth. Though most procedures are set in place for the safety and well-being of your baby, you could be unaware of the risks involved that potentially outweigh the benefits.

In this post I will address the standard administration of the vitamin K shot, which is generally one of the first things on your birth attendants to-do list once your baby arrives. Depending on your care provider, you might receive an informative paper on the risks of vitamin K deficiency in newborns and the benefits of the vitamin K shot. I recommend that all parents thoroughly read this information as well as  further research into the possible side effects and dangers of this routine shot, which I will briefly discuss below. Remember, this baby was given to YOU! You have a right to question anything recommended for your baby.

It so happens I am preparing for the birth of my third baby next month ( Yay! ), and this will be the first time I have chosen to decline the vitamin K shot for my baby.

What is the purpose of the Vitamin K shot?

The purpose of the vitamin K shot is to assist your baby’s blood clotting abilities in order to prevent the rare but devastating condition of bleeding into the brain in the weeks after delivery ( an estimated occurrence after about 1 in 10,000 births ), and as a precaution in case of newborn injury or circumcision.

Ok, so administering vitamin K sounds like a no brainer, right? Absolutely – but only at first glance. While there are clearly possible benefits to the vitamin K shot, it is very important to investigate the possible risks so that you can make an objective decision for your baby. In my own research both as a mother and as a student, I have decided that risks to my child from receiving the vitamin K shot heavily outweigh the suggested benefits.

Why do the risks outweigh the benefits?

To begin with, the vitamin K found in the shot is not real vitamin K as is found naturally in foods, but rather a synthetic vitamin K1 ( phytonadione ). There are real dangers related to use of synthetic vitamins ( further reading here: http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/06/30/515/ ), which are certainly higher for a newborn, and on the first day of life at that! In fact the standard dose mandated by most states is a whopping 100x an infants recommended daily allowance of phytonadione. It is also recognized that an infants liver doesn’t begin to function until about three to four days after birth, which leaves the infant incapable of detoxing this large dose of synthetic compound, along with the other dangerous ingredients in the shot ( derivative from coal tar and antifreeze, to name two ).

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Probably the most notable danger of the shot is the link between high doses of synthetic vitamin K and childhood cancers and leukemia. Source: http://www.whale.to/y/vitk.html

In fact it has been estimated that the chances of a child developing leukemia from the vitamin K shot are 1 in 500.

1 in 500!?! Comparatively the risk of bleeding on the brain is far lower than that of developing leukemia.

Here are some other considerations to take note of:

· Animal studies have linked large doses of vitamin K to a variety of
conditions that include anaemia, liver damage, kidney damage and
death.

· Interestingly the common problem that occurs these days of jaundice
in newborns has only been reported since the introduction of Vitamin
K administration.

· According to the product insert, adverse reactions include
haemolysis (or hemolysis – American spelling) (meaning breakdown of
red blood cells), haemolytic anaemia (a disorder characterised by
chronic premature destruction of red blood cells), hyperbilirubinemia
(too much bilirubin in blood) and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes
resulting from hyperbilirubinemia), and allergic reactions include
face flushing, gastrointestinal upset, rash, redness, pain or
swelling at injection site and itching skin. It also warns that large
enough doses can cause brain damage in infants and/or impairment to
liver function. Hypoxia has also been published as having occurred in
infants after Vitamin K administration.—–

Copied from http://www.whale.to/vaccine/vitamin_k_shot.html

So what can I do?

The need for the vitamin K shot has arisen since mothers have stopped eating diets rich in vitamin K. What doctors and obstetricians are not taught in medical school and therefore do not acknowledge is that as with all fat soluble vitamins, vitamin K is able to cross the placenta to the baby just fine. By eating plenty of vitamin K containing foods you can ensure that your newborn has enough of the nutrient to facilitate proper blood clotting abilities at birth.

Leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, arugula, spinach, turnip greens and lettuce, as well as asparagus and broccoli, are all good sources of vitamin K1 ( phylloquinone ). Remember that in order for the body to absorb vitamin K it must be consumed with fat, so pair these foods with a quality oil dressing and or avocado. *Nettle tea is an excellent beverage to consume during the 3rd trimester as a plant source of exceptionally available vitamin K, however I would not recommend drinking more than one or two cups per day. Let your doctor or midwife know when you begin to take nettle tea.

Vitamin K2 ( menaquinone ) naturally occurs in animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. While K2 has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and calcification of the arteries where K1 has not, it is worth noting that at most times during an adults life we need much less vitamin K2 than we do of K1. This is probably because K2 ( animal source ) tends to linger in the body tissues much longer than K1 ( plant source ).

Pregnancy, however, demands a completely different dietary routine, as we all know. Higher levels of vitamin K2 are required not just for the health of your baby, but to protect you from hemorrhaging after birth by ensuring your blood vessels to close to the appropriate amount. The last three weeks in particular is a great time to consume lots of organic pasture butter, which is quite high in vitamin K2 and will not hinder digestion as large quantities of meat would. This is an old tip that midwives supposedly shared with women long ago in the weeks leading up to their births.

Remember, don’t take my word for it! Do plenty of research before allowing any form of medication to be administered to you or your newborn. Questioning everything doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you an informed parent! Be a pain in your pediatricians butt for your child’s sake!

Note: Individuals taking blood thinners should take caution when eating/introducing foods containing vitamin K2. Always consult a healthcare professional prior to altering your diet or increasing or changing supplementation, especially when taking any sort of prescription medication. 

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

 

Amazing Juice Part 1 – The Cancer Connection

Childhood diets are the major cause of adult cancers. Heart disease is easy to prevent. Cancer is different, cancer is more difficult. But we can win the war on cancer.

– Joel Fuhrman, MD

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From cancer to diabetes, sometimes the answer to our illnesses are as simple yet complex as needing more fruits and vegetables. Simple yet complex? Yes. I mean to say that the answer is simple, yet the process of actually protecting yourself against disease can be seem complex at first.

The average American would be surprised at how many times improper nutrition is behind many of the serious illnesses and diseases so common in our world today. Many of you are probably getting sick of the ‘pill for every ailment’ approach, and are now looking to do more than suppress your symptoms. This article is for you!

Why Cancer –

When our bodies gets sick, they are communicating with us. When we constantly tune them out with modern pharmaceuticals, we never get to the root problem, and due to the additional resulting side effects, the list of medication needed then climbs higher and higher. And as many of you know by now, pharmaceutical prescriptions are a large part of our growing cancer rates.

There are many health conscious Americans, however, avoiding trans fats and eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, and yet these individuals are still getting sick…why is that, you ask? This is where the complex part comes in.

Disease Prevention –

Cancer is one of the most frightening, devastating, and tricky illnesses to prevent. As quoted above, heart disease is easy. One must simply avoid trans fats, eat well and exercise on a regular basis. Preventing cancer, on the other hand, requires an individual to obtain CNA, or comprehensive nutritional adequacy.

The most dangerous nutrient to be deficient in… is the one you’re deficient in.

– Joel Fuhrman, MD 

Achieving CNA –

Using new advanced technologies, we can actually read a persons AGE’s ( advanced glycation end products ) in their tissues and skin. Simply put, this is a good indicator of a persons biological age. When compared with a person eating the Standard American Diet, or even a ‘Food Pyramid’ diet for that matter, a person consuming large amounts of organic leafy greens and  organic green cruciferous vegetables shows a much lower biological age.

More amazing still, take a woman with high GSTP activity ( a woman with genetic risk or predisposition for breast cancer ) feed her enough cabbage, kale and other raw veggies daily, and that gene putting her at risk for cancer is suppressed and therefore unable to express itself.

Synthetic Vitamins –

Now, I do not take synthetic vitamins or supplement my family with them, the reason being that our bodies aren’t able to assimilate them properly. Synthetic vitamins are never beneficial, in some cases, as with calcium and vitamin A, they prove to be very detrimental to our health.

It’s important to understand that synthetic vitamins are manufactured very similarly to pharmaceutical drugs, and likewise cause stress to your internal organs as well as oxidative stress to your cells. A little known fact is that cancer rates actually skyrocketed in 1930 when vitamins and minerals were first discovered and manufactured. These rates have continued to climb every single year since with no exception, in part because many synthetic vitamins are carcinogens, but more so because people then fell into the routine of believing that taking their daily multi-vitamin would be a substantial trade out for eating a healthy diet.

( Note – In no way am I placing all blame on synthetic vitamins, certainly there are a great many factors contributing to cancer rates today )

While it is true that many people are alive today only because of advancements made in the medical field, every time we try to re-invent the wheel of nature we will fail, and in the least face dire consequences where health and wellness are concerned.

Nature already provides us with the capabilities to achieve comprehensive nutritional adequacy, we must simply be willing to eat a LOT of raw veggies and moderate amounts of raw fruits. This sounds easy enough, but the problem is that many of us simply don’t enjoy eating that much raw food.

And of course we are so busy with our daily lives we just don’t have time to sit down and eat a bowl of raw kale, let alone chewing each piece until it’s completely broken down in order to even get the cancer fighting benefits of that kale.

Putting it all Together – 

The answer to the vitamin dilemma and to the veggie dilemma is easy, fun, and TASTY!

It’s juice! Not store bought juice, but make-it-yourself juice! Amazing, energy boosting, mood enhancing, life changing, and even life saving… juice.

There you have it! I hope I’ve given you some incentives to finally get that juicer you’ve been thinking about 😀

I’ll be back tonight or tomorrow to conclude with Amazing Juice Part 2, where I’ll dive into benefits and the juicer I personally use daily, as well as great tips and  juicing recipes that are family favorites in my house.

Green Goodness Folate Smoothie!

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I’m sure, especially if you’ve had children, the that you’ve heard of folic acid and know what it is and why it is important to take during pregnancy and even before conception ( preventing neural tube defects in a developing baby ). But are you familiar with folate?

Folate is the general term used for a group of bio-available b-vitamins, and is also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid refers to the oxidized synthetic compound used in commercially manufactured vitamin supplements, and folate is naturally found in foods such as green leafy vegetables ( kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, ect. ), lentils, asparagus, broccoli and avocados.

Benefits & Risks of Folic Acid:

Research tells us that continual consumption of folic acid over extended periods of time actually increases one’s risk of developing cancer, particularly colon and and prostate cancers. http://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid 

I would advise that you stick with the guidelines set with your doctor or midwife for supplementation during pregnancy ( unless you’ve done your own research to decide otherwise ), though it goes without saying that steering clear of the synthesized version of folate after the child bearing years would be a smart move for your health.

Benefits of Folate: 

Studies show that daily, and even weekly consumption of folate will considerably reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. While there is little conclusive evidence to show that folate might be a sufficient alternative to supplementation before and during pregnancy, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to do both!

You and your baby will both benefit from getting your daily dose of green veggies 🙂 I should mention that beginning a juicing regimen during pregnancy is not safe, as your body will begin to detox and release toxins that can potentially be very harmful to baby. Blending and smoothies, however, is an excellent way for you to get the greenies you need!

This smoothie is a great way to start your day, pregnant or not!

Green Goodness Folate Smoothie ~

1 large ripe or slightly over-ripe banana

5 large kale leaves

1 1/2 – 2 ripe avocados

2 green apples

1 handful cilantro

7 drops Lemon oil

Blend and enjoy! Serves 2

Happy delicious blending everybody!