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Thread: 8 mo need iron supplement?

  1. #1
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    Question 8 mo need iron supplement?

    My 8 month old does not want to eat infant cereal anymore--I can get him to eat a couple of bites. He is breastfed and eats solids--green vegetables, meat, fruit, cheerios, gerber's puffs etc... With Mom's insistence, he eats 2-2 1/2 jars (stage 2) in a day. He seems to like most foods but doesn't want to eat much. He is only interested in finger foods he can feed himself.
    I read somewhere that iron drops and iron fortified foods are not as easily absorbed by the body and become free available iron in the gut that bacteria like to feed on which also causes stomach upset. The iron in breastmilk supposedly is easily absorbed as well as iron found naturally in certain foods like spinach and meat. Is this right?
    I know my son is not getting 100% iron in a day? Do I supplement? Do you have any food suggestions? Has anyone had a bad experience with iron supplements?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    My dd had low iron when she was about 1.. The specialist told us to use iron drops that she would just spit out. We got some stuff at the health food store called flora-dix that at least she didn't spit out. ITs a liquid form of iron from plants. If you are realy worried I would try the flora-dix. it worked for my dd.
    We get her iron tested at wic and they use a figner prick, the doctors office used a full blood test.. the 1st time they poked her they didn't get the right amount. So the had to poke her again. Then they called us on the phone and the machine they use to do something to the blood "ate" her blood.
    So she had to get poked again at the hospital the next day. I was so mad.
    The doctor also told me to wean with after some reasurch I knew was not wise. The iron that is in breastmilk is low but her body could absorbe it better than the kind in the drops.
    you have to serve the high iron foods with something that has vitaman c in it...heres something from dr sears.. it talks about combineing high iron foods
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t043100.asp

    heres the web site for flora dix

    http://www.florahealth.com/flora/hom...eFlag=0#R64771

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    Hmm, my ds has always been on the low side also, but no talk about supplements? Do you think that he needs them?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    I don't think so.. here's what dr sears says

    8 WAYS TO PREVENT ANEMIA
    Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a shortage of hemoglobin in the blood. This can lead to weakness, fatigue, a pale face and earlobes, and brittle, spoon-shaped nails. There are other causes of anemia besides nutritional deficiencies, including massive or chronic blood loss.

    The best way to tell if you have enough iron in your body is to find out if you have enough iron in your blood. A "finger-stick hemoglobin" check can be done in your doctor's office. This test requires only one tiny drop of blood, and the results are available within a few minutes. Pediatricians often use this test to check hemoglobin levels in nine-to fifteen-month-old infants. Your doctor may check hemoglobin levels at other ages of increased iron needs too, such as during female adolescence or pregnancy. Normal hemoglobin values are:

    infants and children 11 to 13 grams
    women 12 to 16 grams
    men 14 to 18 grams
    You can prevent iron-deficiency anemia by making wise food choices for yourself and your family. Getting your daily iron from food is preferable to taking iron supplements, which sometimes cause abdominal discomfort and constipation. Here are some ways to assure there is enough iron in your family's diet.

    Breastfeed your baby as long as possible. Once upon a time it was believed that breastfed babies needed iron supplements because human milk was low in iron. Yet, breastfed babies studied at four to six months of age had a higher hemoglobin than infants who were fed iron-fortified formula. Breastfed babies have been found to have sufficient iron stores for nine months or longer. Human milk remains an important part of baby's diet, even after the introduction of solids.

    Use an iron-fortified formula. If bottlefeeding, use an iron-fortified formula, preferably beginning at birth, but at least starting by three months of age. Continue iron-fortified formula for at least one year or as long as your baby's doctor recommends, which is usually until your infant is eating adequate amounts of other dietary sources of iron. Do not use "low-iron" formulas, which do not contain sufficient iron for a growing baby's needs.

    Delay cow's milk feeding for infants; limit it for toddlers. The Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents delay using cow's milk as a beverage until a baby is at least one year of age. There are two iron-related reasons for this: cow's milk is low in iron, and cow's milk can irritate the intestinal lining, causing bleeding and the loss of iron. This is a tiny amount of blood loss, but over a long period of time it can be significant. The combination of poor iron intake and increased iron loss sets a baby up for iron deficiency anemia, and excessive milk consumption is a common cause of iron deficiency anemia in toddlers. An eighteen-month-old who consumes forty ounces of milk a day may be plump, but is probably very pale. Unless advised otherwise by your baby's doctor, limit your toddler's cow milk intake to no more than 24 ounces a day.

    Combine foods wisely. Eating a food rich in vitamin C along with a good iron source will help your body use the iron. Here are some classic examples:

    spaghetti with meat and tomato sauce
    meat and potatoes
    chicken fajitas with broccoli, sweet pepper, and tomatoes
    hamburger and coleslaw
    nitrate-free hot dogs and orange juice
    fruit, iron-fortified cereal, and raisins
    fresh fruit with raisins

    Try prune juice as a regular beverage. Prune juice is one of the few juices that is high in iron (3 milligrams of iron per cup). The process involved in making prune juice retains more of the fruit's original nutrients than the juicing of other fruits.

    NUTRITIP
    Don't Skin the Iron

    Leave the skin on the potatoes when making homemade fries. This way you'll get more nutrition into a french-fry-loving picky eater. The potato skin is rich in nutrients and contains five times the amount of iron as the whole rest of the potato. Compliment those restaurants who have the nutritional wisdom to leave the skins on the fries. And, don't forget to eat the skin on your baked potato.


    Cook in iron pots. The acid in foods seems to pull some of the iron out of the cast-iron pots. Simmering acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an iron pot can increase the iron content of the brew more than ten-fold. Cooking foods containing other acids, such as vinegar, red wine, lemon or lime juice, in an iron pot can also increase the iron content of the final mixture.

    Bake with iron-rich grains. The usual wheat used to make bread and pastries is relatively low in iron (around one milligram of iron per half cup). Lesser known grains, such as amaranth (8 milligrams per half cup) and quinoa (9 milligrams per half cup) are much richer in iron. Barley grains contain four milligrams of iron per half cup. Mixing these grains into the wheat flour you use when you bake will increase the iron content of the finished product.

    Look out for misleading labels. The percentage of iron listed on the package label is certainly not the amount of iron that gets into your bloodstream. This is especially true of iron-fortified cereals, in which only 4 to 10 percent of the iron listed actually gets absorbed. The amount of iron absorbed from any food depends on the type of iron in the food, the body's need for iron, and the company of other foods eaten at the same meal.


    heres iron rich foods:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T043100.asp#T043107

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    I read somewhere that iron drops and iron fortified foods are not as easily absorbed by the body and become free available iron in the gut that bacteria like to feed on which also causes stomach upset. The iron in breastmilk supposedly is easily absorbed as well as iron found naturally in certain foods like spinach and meat. Is this right?
    Yes, this is correct. Although I'm not certain about the iron causing upset stomach.

    Most full-term babies will have enough iron stores in their bodies to last them at least 6 to 9 months, if not longer. Breastmilk contains less iron than many other sources but it's more easily and readily absorbed by baby than any other source.

    If you are that concerned about anemia, why not just have your baby tested?

    Here's some LLL info on this -- http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/vitamin.html

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    My pediatrician prescribed an iron supplement at dd's 6 month check-up. I was told to give this to her because supposedly after 6 months the iron from my breast milk is not adequate. I found the supplement (which smells so foul and I can only imagine how it tastes--my poor little girl) makes my baby's poopy diapers smell REALLY BAD!

    At nine months my dd is scheduled to have a blood test for anemia so we'll see how she is doing then.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    Yes, it smells, and it leaves rust stains on their clothes, too... Yuck! Someone once suggested that if I had any concern over my baby's vitamin/mineral intake, I could take a supplement myself. What do you all think?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    There is a lot of discussion on this very topic over in the vegetarian baby thread. I've posted there all our experience with DS and an initially (at 9 months check-up) low hemoglobin count. Lots of details - including recipe suggestions and our experience with drops, chewable vitamins, extra iron supplements for me....and eventually a great hemoglobin reading for DS at his 12month checkup. Too much to re-type here, but if you are game to read that thread, lots of info.
    best of luck!
    Jsmom

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 8 mo need iron supplement?

    Yes, it smells, and it leaves rust stains on their clothes, too... Yuck! Someone once suggested that if I had any concern over my baby's vitamin/mineral intake, I could take a supplement myself. What do you all think?
    While many of the essential vitamins and minerals found in breastmilk (and then passed on to baby) are directly proportional to mom's intake, iron is not one of them. So taking an iron supplement will not increase the amount of iron available to baby through your breastmilk.

    Research indicates that most full-term babies will have enough iron stores in their bodies to see them through the first full year of life. Many doctors begin the iron supplements at 6 months of age but it is not necessary for most babies. If you are concerned about anemia in your baby, you can always ask your doctor to do a simple blood test in the doctor's office to check baby's iron stores. If baby is low, then you might offer iron-rich foods (versus iron-fortified foods -- see my post above) to see if that helps.

    Here is some more information:
    Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary? (not a LLL source)
    Should My Breastfed Baby Be Receiving Vitamin or Fluoride Supplements?

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