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Vitamin K at birth

vitamin; k; newborn; baby; injection;

Vitamin K helps blood to clot. It is essential to prevent serious bleeding.

Babies do not get enough vitamin K from their mothers during pregnancy, or when they are breast feeding. Without vitamin K, they are at risk of getting a rare disorder called ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding’ (VKDB). VKDB can cause bleeding into the brain, and may result in brain damage or even death. VKDB can be prevented by giving new babies extra vitamin K. By the age of about six months, they have built up their own supply.

The easiest and most reliable way to give babies vitamin K is by injection. One injection just after birth will protect a baby for many months.

To find out more

Pregnancy, birth and baby

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a national Australian Government service providing support and information for expecting parents and parents of children, from birth to 5 years of age.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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