Vitamin K and the Newborn online course

The 2021 run of our Vitamin K and the Newborn course has now ended, but you can read all about it below and then sign up to our newsletter to receive updates about future runs of this and other courses.


Join Dr Sara Wickham for a week of online learning, discussion and reflection on the evidence relating to vitamin K prophylaxis for newborn babies. 

We’ll also talk lots about the wider issues, including how we can discuss information, options and risk and help parents make the decisions that are right for them.


Vitamin K: What are the issues?

I know from experience that many midwives and birth folk find it difficult to know how to strike a balance when discussing vitamin K with parents, and others struggle to answer some of the common concerns that parents have.

And even those who feel confident about the information often say how much they enjoy chatting about the tricky issue of how we can best communicate this to parents.

Part of the problem is that some of the information out there is one-sided, fear-based and patronising and many people feel that the risks are over-stressed. But it’s also not helpful to pretend that everything is always fine. Because, although vitamin K deficiency bleeding is rare, it’s still a very real problem.

Another problem is that a lot of information is out of date and hasn’t been updated to reflect recent changes in our knowledge. And then we have the conspiracy theories, which are inaccurate and unhelpfully scary. It’s so hard to navigate and work out what’s accurate and evidence-based, and how to get the balance right.


So what DO we know?

We know that, if we give vitamin K to every newborn baby, we can almost eradicate VKDB, an unpredictable bleeding disorder. But we also know that we have to give vitamin K to thousands and thousands of babies in order to prevent one baby experiencing a bleed.

Many parents have questions.  Heck, even after practicing, lecturing and researching in this field for more than twenty-five years, I still have questions! And that’s not for a lack of reading or understanding, because I literally wrote the book.

But there is a real lack of decent and relevant research into this area and too many websites and sources out there who over stress either the risks of VKDB or the possible side effects of vitamin K.

What should we believe?

Even more importantly, how can we help parents navigate this information and find the path that is right for them and their baby?


It’s time to relax, take a step back and regroup!

In this course, I have brought together the research and information that I gathered while updating my book, and added my experience of teaching this subject to midwives and birth folk for many years.

The result is this online course.

It will help you to get up-to-date with the evidence, sort out the different perspectives and decide where you stand.

Perhaps most importantly of all, it will enable you to consider how you can best help parents in this area. Even if this is something you’ve been talking about for years.

All while chatting to midwives and birth folk from around the world. And not just about vitamin K. About how we handle and communicate information about options and decisions in general.


What does the course cover?

In this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Get updated on the latest evidence in this area, with the help of video lectures, written material, questions, discussions and a live webinar.
  • Download printable handouts and worksheets to give you a head start with your notes and reflections.
  • Find out about the acronym that I teach and share to enable practitioners, educators and parents to ask the right questions when considering any prophylactic intervention. (No, it’s not BRAN/BRAIN/BRAINS, it’s more specific than that).
  • Look (if you’re brave enough … nothing’s compulsory!) at your own practice in this area and see whether there are things you might want to tweak.
  • Find out why we shouldn’t put too much weight on the US case series which some claim is evidence of an increased risk of VKDB.
  • Discuss strategies, share information and give and receive support with midwives and birth folk from around the world.
  • Learn from real-life stories and scenarios.
  • Get lots of material to reflect upon in your portfolio (and, of course, a certificate to say you were here!)
  • Connect personally with me, as I will be online with you during the facilitated week of the course. You can ask me questions and participate in a live webinar which I will facilitate and which will bring together midwives and birth folk from around the world.

If this sounds good to you, sign up to our newsletter to receive updates about future runs of this and other courses.


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