This post is a collection of links to articles and resources that I have authored on the subject of vitamin K and I have now updated it to reflect the publication of the second edition of my book – which I am delighted to tell you is now officially a bestseller – Vitamin K and the Newborn.
The first article that I wrote about vitamin K was published in 2001 and was called Vitamin K: a flaw in the blueprint?, where the title reflected the ideological and practical question that most interested me at the time; that of whether nature had really ‘got it wrong’. This article generated some really interesting discussion with a lovely paediatrician named Edmund Hey, who is sadly no longer with us. I have discussed some of his work in my book, Vitamin K and the Newborn.
But time and ongoing learning change things, and some of what is my earlier articles and the 2003 booklet is now superseded by more recent research findings. I have left some of my older articles on my website as older work is often of use to those interested in the history of this debate, and these articles include Deconstructing Prophylaxis Part 1, Deconstructing Prophylaxis Part 2, Vitamin K: the chaos continues and Vitamin K: what have we learned in a decade? But please be aware that they are of their time, and look at the ongoing debates and discussions as well.
I continue to be interested in the ideological questions that we were raising at that time, especially as vitamin K really does seem to be the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut. Several thousand babies need to be given vitamin K in order to prevent each case of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (or VKDB; a disorder formerly known as haemorrhagic disease of the newborn). Unfortunately, there is little research interest (as is so often the case) in questions about how we might be able to pick out the babies who are truly at risk rather than giving it as universal prophylaxis and whether and why it might benefit babies to have a relatively low level of vitamin K compared to adults.
So in 2017, I embarked on a new search of the literature and brought my work on this topic up to date with the publication of a second edition of Vitamin K and the Newborn. I’ve also been adding a few more blog posts to share some of the content and these include Five things parents should know if they decide to decline vitamin K for their baby and Engendering rather than endangering trust.
We celebrated the launch of the updated book by simultaneously launching a new online course which helps midwives and birth workers to look at the evidence on this topic in depth and to build confidence in discussing the research and helping parents to make decisions. We welcomed participants to the course from 15 different countries, and we’re looking forward to running the course again in the near future. (If you’d like to find out about future online courses, just sign up to our newsletter list, as you’ll then get course dates and topics sent directly to your inbox).
Here’s hoping that these resources help you to help parents 🙂