When I consider the standard procedure of injecting newborns with supplemental vitamin K, I can’t help but wonder why newborns, perfect in every other way, would be born lacking vitamin K without some reason we have yet to determine. The injections come with a slew of side effects I am simply not comfortable with and research is lacking on the effects of the injection as well as the reasons newborns are deficient in the first place. Some situations do call for vitamin K supplementation, in my opinion, and cases should be assessed individually. For instance, traumatic birth, baby needs antibiotics, cord was not allowed to pulsate and empty before clamping and/or cutting, breastfeeding is off to a rough start, etc. There is an oral supplement option for babies meeting those criteria. Mama should eat plenty of leafy greens before and after birth, consider a vitamin K supplement if she feels she isn’t getting a sufficient amount through diet, and know things to watch for in her newborn that would indicate a problem.
Evidence Based Birth has done some work on the two topics, though I believe she leaves out some crucial considerations on the topic of letting baby be regarding Vitamin K supplementation.