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Thread: Iron vitamins?

  1. #1
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    Default Iron vitamins?

    My doctor told me to give my 6m-o iron vitamins if we don't want to do rice cereal and because we are vegetarian. Does anyone have any information about iron in breastmilk? Dr told me that she doesn't get iron from bm but I read somewhere that she does. I need to do some research anyway and hope someone on here might have some info or a link, anything about iron, or about raising vegetarian baby would be great! Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    First let me say I'm not an expert but here's the history. We relocated last year and our 6 month well visit was in our new state/new town with a new Ped. She gave me the rice cereal spiel and I responded that we weren't going to fill our EBF baby up with that. So she also insisted on the vitamin w/iron. Note we are not vegetarians nor did she ask. I bought the stupid stuff at whole foods, gave DD one dose and geez did it stink. It was so foul and she was certainly not thrilled. So I looked it up and read that if I am not iron deficient, which I'm not, there's no reason she should be either. Here's what kellymom says about BF babies and iron. http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/

    Side note it just so happens I don't eat red meat, the alleged standard go to source for iron. I long ago looked up alternate sources of iron and I get plenty through poultry, eggs, a variety of certain greens and seeds. For example I eat a lot of cooked spinach and pumpkin seeds, both iron rich.

    If you are iron deficient that's the only reason I can think of that your baby could be as well.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    I had similar concerns when starting solids with my baby. I put the question to the ladies here -here's the link to that discussion.
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...nriched-cereal

    I am vegetarian as well. I'm not planning on giving my daughter meat. Our doctor suggested giving her the iron fortified cereals - I chose not to. I also requested an iron check at 9 monoths, so when she goes for her 10 month checkup, he'll have the results and we can decide from there if she needs supplements. He was agreeable to this plan. I did give her steel cut oatmeal, as it's a little higher in iron, but she's been refusing it lately. She doesn't want anything off a spoon right now, so the iron fortified cereals are pretty much a moot point right now! We'll be trying beans shortly. So I guess I don't really have any BTDT advice, just a description of how we're handling this particular issue!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    Thanks so much mamas, this forum is so helpful! Dr seemed to think it would be easier on the baby to take a vitamin then for him to have to test her iron later ..but although the test might be unpleasant it seems to me that administering a vitamin everyday might not be so great either especially if there's a chance it could hurt her tummy.. and if it isn't needed... well, I have to think on this a bit more still. My iron was on the low side of normal during pregnancy but my hemoglobin was high (unusually so for a vegetarian) and I've never been anemic before... until my delivery that is when I had serious hemorrhaging, so I had to supplement for 3 months , but when I got around to getting tested a month and a half after finishing the pills my iron was back up in the mid-range of normal and hemoglobin too.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    We're vegetarian and I had my daughter checked at 9 months and again recently at 15 months, and here iron levels were totally fine. In fact, I regret the second one since she had to get the finger prick and then a shot that day. My doctor never said to introduce rice cereal, but lectured us about other things that I now find stupid! I don't take an iron supplement for myself, either, except a multivitamin once in a while when I remember. My LO ate a lot of iron rich foods when she would eat purees, but even now that she's become a very picky eater, she still seems to get some iron from her foods. I give her tofu a few times a week, sometimes edamame, some seitan, homemade breads. She's become anti-green vegetable (somehow I thought we were immune to that due to my love of them!) so I sneak some in with juices I make at home or smoothies. Quinoa has lots of iron, so I try to give her that, but that's another one she's not interested in these days.

    Just keep an eye on her iron levels, try to give iron rich foods as you start solids, and try to not stress about it too much. I did lots of purees, so if you're going the BLS routes you'll have to find what foods work for you and your LO. I'm sure there are plenty to work with.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    We're vegetarian and I had my daughter checked at 9 months and again recently at 15 months, and here iron levels were totally fine. In fact, I regret the second one since she had to get the finger prick and then a shot that day. My doctor never said to introduce rice cereal, but lectured us about other things that I now find stupid! I don't take an iron supplement for myself, either, except a multivitamin once in a while when I remember. My LO ate a lot of iron rich foods when she would eat purees, but even now that she's become a very picky eater, she still seems to get some iron from her foods. I give her tofu a few times a week, sometimes edamame, some seitan, homemade breads. She's become anti-green vegetable (somehow I thought we were immune to that due to my love of them!) so I sneak some in with juices I make at home or smoothies. Quinoa has lots of iron, so I try to give her that, but that's another one she's not interested in these days.

    Just keep an eye on her iron levels, try to give iron rich foods as you start solids, and try to not stress about it too much. I did lots of purees, so if you're going the BLS routes you'll have to find what foods work for you and your LO. I'm sure there are plenty to work with.
    Do you mind sharing the iron level of your baby at 9 months? We had our 9 month check up today and I was surprised DD's level was at the low end of normal. (10.5 when the range for 9 months is 10.5 - 14 and average being 12). That said, she was NOT below normal, which would have been less than 10. The doc of course was pushing the cereal again. I just tend to agree with a Ped even if I disagree (not like she is going to pop up at my house and monitor us!), but I looked it up and babies are generally able to absorb 50 - 70% of the iron present in breastmilk, but only 4 - 10% of the iron that would be in an iron enriched cereal. WHERE DO THESE DOCS GET THEIR INFO? 1960? Anyway, I am not iron deficient, but I am thinking of just upping my own iron intake through food. Spinach, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and the like.

    So the big concern over iron deficiency with babies is apparently delayed motor and cognitive development. We are definitely not experiencing any developmental delays unless you count fact that teeth have yet to appear (we're getting close). I call that one a BLESSING.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    I feel like the number was 13 both times, but it may have been 12 for one. I can't remember. I think I forgot it since I knew all was okay. I know they both times said, "Nothing to worry about here!" I go to the doc again in a month so maybe I'll ask them to look it up for us. I just think these "one-size-fits-all" approaches are not great. I have asked questions of nutritionists I trust, and they always tell me that doctors push foods that CONTAIN high levels of a vitamin (like dairy having calcium) but that doesn't mean the body can absorb it at those levels. And everyone's body is different. I assume my iron was checked when I was pregnant and no doctor ever voiced any concern, so I assume my levels are fine. That might be making a lot of the difference with us...it's tough to say. But I made almost all my own baby food (with the exception of some jars of Earths Best Organic purees we kept on hand for travel or very busy days) based on what DH and I were eating, so my LO did have pureed brown rice on occasion, but I never introduced iron-fortified store-bought cereals. I guess if you know your baby might not be eating a great, varied diet, it might make sense in the same way adults who don't eat healthy take multivitamins. But it's not a necessity!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Iron vitamins?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    I feel like the number was 13 both times, but it may have been 12 for one. I can't remember. I think I forgot it since I knew all was okay. I know they both times said, "Nothing to worry about here!" I go to the doc again in a month so maybe I'll ask them to look it up for us. I just think these "one-size-fits-all" approaches are not great. I have asked questions of nutritionists I trust, and they always tell me that doctors push foods that CONTAIN high levels of a vitamin (like dairy having calcium) but that doesn't mean the body can absorb it at those levels. And everyone's body is different. I assume my iron was checked when I was pregnant and no doctor ever voiced any concern, so I assume my levels are fine. That might be making a lot of the difference with us...it's tough to say. But I made almost all my own baby food (with the exception of some jars of Earths Best Organic purees we kept on hand for travel or very busy days) based on what DH and I were eating, so my LO did have pureed brown rice on occasion, but I never introduced iron-fortified store-bought cereals. I guess if you know your baby might not be eating a great, varied diet, it might make sense in the same way adults who don't eat healthy take multivitamins. But it's not a necessity!
    Being the rule breaker that I am (example don't give your baby multiple kinds of food in one sitting) I give DD small hits off my fruit/veg smoothies from the Vitamix. Today she had banana, blueberry, kale, date, raw sunflower seed, unsweetened organic coconut smoothie.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

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