Like most mothers who are into natural birth, I have always avoided the newborn vitamin K shot - and still plan to do so with this coming birth. To me, it makes sense that if all infants are born with lowered vitamin K levels, then they are meant to do so for a good reason. It's kind of like cord clamping - if mammals were meant to have immediate cord clamping, then their cords would clamp immediately on their own. Physiology doesn't need improvement. In other words, the normal, functioning, healthy body does not need routine artificial intervention. (We would use the vitamin K shot in case of a physically traumatic birth.)
This past summer, though, I met a lovely local midwife who has a slightly different take on vitamin K shots. She told me that while she, too, used to avoid them, she now recommends routine vitamin K administration in her practice.
Simply the fact that - based on a study that she reviewed - American diets are abysmally low in vitamin K (which is found primarily in dark, leafy greens - definitely one of many weaknesses in the typical American diet), and thus our newborns have lower vitamin K levels at birth than even normal newborns are supposed to have - putting them at risk.
The midwife told me that while she now recommends the shot, she still much prefers that mothers just improve their diets to include more natural sources of vitamin K, and therefore be able to provide their infants with the nutrient naturally rather than artificially.
We're still not planning on giving the vitamin K shot, but I am doing my best to increase my vitamin K intake. Since I'm still nauseated and green smoothies are not exactly appealing right now, I have just started supplementing with alfalfa tablets, which are supposedly a great source of vitamin K. In fact, I need to go take some right now!
What do you think?