Re: Anemia in my 15 month old
I'm not sure what the 9.9 is referencing (hemoglobin maybe?) because there are many components to a CBC. If it's hemoglobin, then that's low but not terrible. Did your pediatrician do additional blood work to make sure that it is iron causing the anemia and not something else? There are other reasons for anemia that should be ruled out before treating for iron deficiency.
My son had significant iron deficiency anemia at 12 months, and supplementation has brought about significant improvement. However, you are correct that 60mg is a lot. My son's anemia is relatively severe and he takes in 30mg a day (15mg 2x a day). Maybe talk to your doctor about the dose or get a second opinion - that is a really high dose, but it may be warranted if the anemia is very severe so don't dismiss it out of hand.
1. Weaning won't get more food into him. That's ridiculous. Plus, cow's milk is known to inhibit iron absorption and irritate the intestinal lining which can lead to or exacerbate anemia. I agree that boosting your own iron might help some. If the anemia is mild, then getting more iron into yourself along with offering iron rich foods may be enough to improve the anemia. However, if the anemia is severe enough, then supplementation is necessary.
2. The supplements are fine. I don't think there is a more "natural" product to treat significant anemia (although dietary changes can be enough for mild anemia). Potential constipation is the only side effect of iron supplementation that I am aware of. I give a small amount of diluted juice and some pears, peaches, or prunes every day to avoid this. You can try just the fruits and no juice, but my son is prone to constipation anyway so the juice is necessary for him.
3. My advice it to take a deep breath an relax. Prolonged anemia is serious, but you've caught it and are going to treat it. As such, there shouldn't be any reason to worry. Don't feel guilty. You are doing everything right. Nursing is far better than cow's milk. Trying to force solids usually causes more problems than it solves. Give the supplement (but check on the dose, even talking to your pharmacist might help). Cook in a cast iron pan, offer iron rich foods (red meat, dark meat from poultry, lentils, beans, leafy greens), but don't worry if your son doesn't eat much - that's normal for a 15 month old.
I felt horrible too after finding out about my son's anemia, but now - 9 months later - everything is going great. The supplements are bringing blood counts up and my son is developing very well. Don't be too hard on yourself. You've done nothing wrong, and anemia is easily treated.
K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).