Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    East coast, US
    Posts
    2

    Default Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    Hi, I am new here, but am hoping to find some people who have gone through a similar issue. My dd is 16 months old and almost exclusively breastfed. She has oral and tactile defensiveness and refuses most solids. She has been receiving services through EI for feeding therapy but still refuses to eat/touch most foods after 12 weeks of sessions. We only have 3 foods she will eat. She is still nursing 3 times a day and often 2 times a night (mostly for comfort, falls back to sleep quickly). We are scheduled to see a pediatric hematologist because she is severely anemic. What I want to know is (1) is she getting too much milk and (2) could my breastmilk be contributing to her anemia? I was hoping to start slowly weaning her (starting with nights), but am afraid I may be taking her only source of nutrition (vitamin supplement is a no-go). Does anyone have any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,346

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    Welcome! I'm sorry you're having trouble with your LO's anemia and getting your LO to take solids. A lot of us have had children who remained primarily breastfed well into their second year of life, and there are definitely mamas here who have had experience with children with sensory/tactile issues. Hopefully some of them can offer their advice.

    In response to your questions:
    1. No, a child cannot consume too much breastmilk. I know some people will say things like "Wean, and then she will eat because she will have no choice", but that's often not how it works. A really nice thing about breastmilk is that it provides a balanced form of nutrition, so it's ideal for extremely picky eaters.
    2. As far as I know, breastmilk cannot make a child anemic. Cow's milk sometimes does, which is why it's not recommended for babies under age 1. Breastmilk does not have a huge amount of iron, but what iron it has is highly bioavailable: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html
    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
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    You know my oldest son struggled. We just used the plain old poly-vi-sol drops at first because it was very low. Then we switched to Floradix while I worked on foods that would naturally increase his iron. Cooking in cast iron helps, also blackstrap molasses although we never had good luck that route because he would not eat anything with it mixed in or baked in.

    I think we supplemented for about 8 months and then dropped it-
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    My daughter was really anemic about the year mark. She also refused all solids and because she was a preemie, she used all of her stores. We got it back up with blackstrap molasses. She would never take the drops or Floradix. But she loved oatmeal so everyday I would put the molasses in her oatmeal. And we gave her no dairy to be sure it didn't inhibit absorption of the iron.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    Breatmilk doesn't contribute to anemia. In fact breastmilk has iron that is deposited directly into the bloodstream of the child, much more effective than supplements. With severe anemia you will likely need more but breastmilk is a bonus and taking it away very well may be detrimental. Honestly I couldn't imagine taking away breastmilk from a child with this issue, she is getting so much from it that she can't get elsewhere.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    I would also recommend against Poly-vi-sol, as it has additives in it (such as caramel coloring). Carlson's for kids makes supplement drops where only 1 drop is necessary, and you can put it on your nipple before nursing. You can also supplement yourself w/ 15 mg of plant-based iron (per a D.O. recommendation) and she will get the higher amounts through your milk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,628

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    I would make sure your iron levels are really good, too. I eat raisins and red meat to try to keep my hemoglobin levels at a healthy level. I definitely would not recommend cutting back on the breastmilk, though. It is the best thing she can be drinking although I do hope that she can keep working through the oral defensiveness issues and expand what she eats soon.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    East coast, US
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    Just wanted to update and thank everyone for their comments. After several trips to the hematologist, many blood draws, and condescending looks from the doc about extended breast feeding we did see a change in her iron levels due to supplements. I am still breastfeeding at 2...never dreamt I would want to past 12 months, but she is getting colostrum bc I am 34 weeks pregnant with baby boy! Right around the time my milk dried up, she started eating more solids. Unfortunately, not enough per her pediatrician. Her iron levels dipped back to anemic and she lost a pound of weight since her 15 month appt (7 months ago). She weighs 21.5 lbs and is 34.5 inches tall. So, we are supplementing again and giving her a protein/vitamin rich drink. I am so glad she kept on nursing, bc she really needed the comfort! Now on to tandem nursing and getting her weight up. Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,346

    Default Re: Very Anemic 16 mo. old...what to do?

    Thank you for the update, and congratulations on the baby to come!
    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!"

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •