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Thread: slight anemia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    53

    Default slight anemia

    My LO is currently sick and doc ordered a CBC which found low iron levels. Doc said baby is slightly anemic. He recommended giving baby Polyvisol w/ iron supplement and wants to recheck his levels in 3 months. I am worried. Is this normal for a baby that has been breastfed? I wish we would have known this earlier so I could have addressed the issue sooner. Other suggestions?
    Thank you.
    First-time mom to David Alan, born 5-20-12. Enjoying maternity leave for his 1st 5 months and then returning to full-time work as a school social worker and nursing mom.





  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    512

    Default Re: slight anemia

    Low iron can happen in BFed babies that were born early. DS was a month early and had low iron at 6 months. It wasn't really low, so we just pushed iron rich food rather than supplement. DS had tummy troubles, so we wanted to avoid iron supplements. I hear polyvisol with iron is a relatively low dose, though, so it might not be so bad.

    Someone can correct me if I am wrong here, but I don't think iron is something that a mom can increase in her milk by taking supplements her self. So don't feel like you did something wrong with your own nutrition. It just happens sometimes.

    ETA: i should clarify, the reason premature babies tend to have low iron is because babies get iron reserves while in utero, so if they are born early they have fewer reserves. Breastmilk should have plenty of iron, but if they were low to start with and waited (like they should) until 6 months to start solids, they might end up a little anemic.
    Last edited by @llli*sassypants; May 24th, 2013 at 10:50 AM.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: slight anemia

    Low iron is a fairly common problem with babies who were born early, but even term breastfed babies can become anemic if they have a predisposition to anemia or- hypothetically- if mom has been anemic and has been producing milk with lower than average iron content. Cord management at birth can play into the issue- babies who are born with immediate cord clamping (as opposed to delayed clamping) will get less blood from the placenta, and therefore less iron.

    Poly-vi-sol is an easy way to get baby's iron up, but if you don't want to give that, you can choose an iron-only supplement. You also want to offer plenty of iron-rich solids, which include leafy greens (especially spinach), meats, fish, beans, and dried fruits like apricots.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: slight anemia

    My son was born full term and I do not have a history of anemia. Wonder why he is anemic at this time? I am going to give him the supplement and we will retest in 3 months. Is this something I should be concerned about long term? Is it easily corrected and thus not a long term problem if treated?
    First-time mom to David Alan, born 5-20-12. Enjoying maternity leave for his 1st 5 months and then returning to full-time work as a school social worker and nursing mom.





  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: slight anemia

    Unlikely to be a problem long term. Most people get plenty of iron from their diets. When a breastfed baby becomes anemic, it's usually in the window between the point where baby uses up most of his iron stores from birth and the point where he starts to incorporate a lot of solids into his diet. Give him a supplement, make sure his diet is rich in iron, restest in a few months, and try not to worry too much.
    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!"

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