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Thread: Iron Concerns & General Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    45

    Default Iron Concerns & General Questions

    I've been told in the past by my pediatrician at that my DD needs to have iron-fortified foods now that she's older than 6m (she's 9m now). I honestly hate doing rice cereal and, although she enjoys solids, we only eat solids 1-2x a day (I think I'm a little lazy - BF is so EASY).

    My concern is that she really isn't getting enough iron and I need to step up my game and give her (more) fortified foods.

    What have you other mamas found with regards to iron levels in your BF baby? What do you do to supplement (if necessary)? We don't do meats (yet), but I would start introducing meats if that's what is necessary to ensure proper iron levels.

    Also, how much food should I be feeding her at this point? Some days she doesn't even get solids, just BM. She has 4 top teeth and 2 bottom if that even matters with regards to food options (she eats both purees and things like soft veggies, bread pieces, fruit). I just feel like I'm not doing enough!

    I'd love to believe that if I gave more solids she would sleep better at night!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Iron Concerns & General Questions

    Generally, breastfed babies do not require additional iron. Breastmilk doesn't have a lot of iron, when compared to formula, but it usually has enough and the iron it does have is in a form that is more easily taken up by the baby's body. So in general breastfed babies do just fine, even if their mamas don't push iron-fortified foods or vitamins. This is particularly true if you elected to have delayed cord clamping (>30 seconds) when your baby was born, since delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord allows the baby to get an extra shot of iron-rich blood from the placenta.

    However, some babies do get low iron after 6 months, which is why a lot of docs offer a blood test for anemia at around 6-9 months. That might be an avenue to pursue, if you really want to know your LO's iron status. Or you can just offer a daily multivitamin or iron-rich foods, which doesn't have to mean rice cereal! Meats, beans and peas, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits like prunes and raisins, sweet potatoes, watermelon- those are all baby-friendly alternatives, and many are great foods for self-feeders.

    WRT the amount of food you're offering, to me it sounds like you are right on target for 9 months. At this point, solids really should be all about fun, and breastmilk should continue to be her primary source of nutrition.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    45

    Default Re: Iron Concerns & General Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    However, some babies do get low iron after 6 months, which is why a lot of docs offer a blood test for anemia at around 6-9 months. That might be an avenue to pursue, if you really want to know your LO's iron status. Or you can just offer a daily multivitamin or iron-rich foods, which doesn't have to mean rice cereal! Meats, beans and peas, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits like prunes and raisins, sweet potatoes, watermelon- those are all baby-friendly alternatives, and many are great foods for self-feeders.
    I did mention the blood test to the Dr. and she seemed put off by the question - almost like I can't believe you want to take blood from your child instead of giving rice cereal. That wasn't my intent, I just want to make sure she's okay - and she probably is since she seems healthy and was great at her 9m checkup. I didn't press the issue at either visit.

    Also, have you found a multivitamin that infants actually like? She loves prunes and does get a lot of these, I will try beans next!

    Thanks for your advice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Iron Concerns & General Questions

    nah, no reason for the rice cereal. Like mommal said, there is pleanty of other iron rich foods that taste soooo much better! The box of rice cereal we had, I used mostly for making meatballs. You can always give cherrios or other dry cereals as finger food. They are fortifited too.
    Mommy to 2 little boys!
    DS1 11/1/07 BFed 7 months
    DS2 11/6/09 BF 2 YEARS! and counting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Iron Concerns & General Questions

    Personally - I'd focus on iron-rich foods, including meats, rather than doing "iron fortified" foods or supplements.

    Some resources with high-iron foods:

    http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitami...ml#ironsources
    http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/Iron.htm

    Oh - and no, eating more solids will NOT make your baby sleep through the night!
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

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