An essential nutrient for blood clotting, vitamin K occurs naturally in many foods so your baby will get a certain level while in utero. Read about why babies are given an added boost of vitamin K at birth and discover the best sources to include in your diet.
Vitamin K in pregnancy plays a vital role in allowing blood to clot, as well as proving essential to the development of your baby’s bones. A lack of it can cause vitamin K deficiency bleeding.
Although cases of vitamin K deficiency bleeding are relatively rare, the consequences in babies can be very serious. For those babies who don’t get enough vitamin K during pregnancy, their blood loses the ability to clot and seal any wounds, leading to serious complications soon after birth.
To make sure they have a sufficient amount, babies are given an injection of vitamin K at birth. You’re also advised to include vitamin K-rich foods in your diet during pregnancy, just to be on the safe side.
Too much vitamin K can be toxic in a synthetic form, so it is best obtained from a healthy diet rather than supplements.
Vitamin K-Rich Foods
Vitamin K is generally best absorbed from raw fruit and vegetables.
These foods are all good sources:
- Fresh, raw salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
- Red cabbage, cucumber, leeks, celery, artichokes, peas and beans
- Dairy products such as cottage cheese and cream or milk
- Olive and rapeseed oil
- Lean meat (but make sure it’s cooked through)
- Combining these sources is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough – try snacks such as celery dipped in cottage cheese, add cucumber to your cheese sandwiches or make creamy vegetable soups using a leek base
If you have any questions about vitamins in pregnancy why not give our Careline team a call on 009647723342222 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Saturday to Thursday.