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Guidance for parents about Vitamin K for Newborn Babies

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a man-made vitamin that is offered to all babies after birth. It can be given either as an injection or by mouth.

Why is Vitamin K recommended?

Vitamin K is necessary to prevent bleeding diseases such as Haemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn and production of proteins necessary for the normal growth of bones.

Babies do not have enough Vitamin K when they are born. It is important to prevent this serious condition which can cause severe bleeding into the brain and can be fatal. There is a 1:10,000 chance that your baby could develop this disease.

Research over the last 30 years has shown that giving the injection is the most effective method of preventing this disease. However the research is not conclusive in saying one route is better than the other.

How is Vitamin K given to my baby?

You'll be offered an injection of vitamin K for your baby.

If you'd prefer for your baby not to have an injection, they can have vitamin K by mouth instead, but they'll need further doses.


Your Midwife will discuss will discuss Vitamin K for your baby during pregnancy.
Read our patient information leaflet on Vitamin K