Child Suffers Brain Bleed after Mother Opts Out of Vitamin K Shot (Updated)

This post has been updated to reflect that the child has passed away. 

When children are born, it’s an understatement to say that they’re fragile. Their systems are being exposed to the world for the first time without reliance on a physical tether to their mother for life. Their environment, feeding schedule, sleeping schedule, temperature, and the bag of poo around their bottom (be honest, that’s what a diaper is- I’m judging you extra hard if you buy organic wearable poo bags) all have to be carefully managed. By you. The person who opted out of condoms and took on the responsibility of keeping the baby alive. Passive aggressive parenting and a lifetime of anxiety issues optional. 

A small percentage of babies will be dangerously low on vitamin k, leading them susceptible to dangerous bleeding disorders. As you really can’t know if your child is going to be one of these babies and a vitamin K shot is, at worst, harmless, and at best, lifesaving, all children are generally administered a vitamin K shot at birth. Per the CDC, there are multiple reasons for using the vitamin K shot. One is that vitamin K doesn’t pass through the placenta in sufficient quantities, and it also isn’t found in high quantities in breast milk (no matter how much you supplement during and after pregnancy). The other is that the bacteria in the baby’s gut hasn’t fully developed at birth to produce vitamin K. Some clotting factors rely on vitamin K, and this set of circumstances is a perfect storm leaving infants vulnerable to vitamin K deficiency bleeeding (VKDB).

With the rise of the anti-vaccine movement has come the “everything in a needle is going to fucking kill you” movement. The vitamin k shot, according to the number of facebook posts from moms who have “done their research” on the matter, seem to reveal that a group of people who normally advocate for megadoses of vitamins are arbitrarily opting out of a vitamin injection is a growing issue

It’s all fun and games until someone’s bundle of joy lands in the hospital with a subdural hematoma and twenty seizures an hour. As appears to have happened recently.


Note: babies can experience VKDB up to six months after birth. 


Note again; the doctors gave the child vitamin K and she started clotting, and the responses in her anti-vax group continued to attempt to find other reasons for the bleeding:


Yes, the doctors did determine what happened to her. It was VKDB, and it was absolutely preventable. 

There are copies of these images both on imgur and facebook from the original anti-vax group it was posted in. It’s now unfortunately been confirmed that their child has passed away. Please be respectful while these parents are sorting out, what I’m sure, are some overwhelming emotions right now.

The risk of a bleeding disorder developing due to a lack of vitamin K is 1 in 59. The risk is reduced to 1/100,000 with the vitamin K shot (and the risks from the shot are somewhere between zero and nada). Your child has a better chance of developing a bleeding disorder due to a lack of vitamin K if you opt out of the shot than they have of being diagnosed with celiac disease, AIDS, or even just being a colossal asshole combined.*

Brooke, I’m genuinely sorry that your daughter passed away. The blame lies with everyone who’s spread this pernicious lie; the medical system that’s grown to give us longer, healthier lives over the last century is somehow hurting us. But the blame also falls squarely on you for deciding that your mom friends who took a two week class on essential oils knew more than your doctors who toiled away their entire 20s, skipping every party, getting a half a million dollars into debt, and jumping over incredibly high hurdles to prove that they knew all the most accurate research on how to care for your child. 

I hope, if you choose to have another child, that you’re a little wiser next time in whose advice you take for your child’s care.



*data unknown for being a colossal asshole, but please give your kid the fucking vitamin K shot.

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About SciBabe 78 Articles
Yvette d'Entremont, aka SciBabe, is a chemist and writer living in Los Angeles with her husband and their four pets. She bakes a mean gluten free chocolate chip cookie and likes glitter more than is considered healthy for a woman past the age of seven.

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