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Thread: the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    89

    Question the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

    I am still in a dilemma about the risk of anemia for older almost exclusively bf babies. I read that artificial iron in the iron fortified cereals actually interferes with bm iron absorption. Yet, my pediatrician insists i give my ds cereal. I read somewhere that non artificial iron is better- so what i do now is give my baby some oats with some molasses and flaxseed meal for omega threes and fiber. Apparently molasses is high in iron. This is basically my breakfast minus cows milk.


    Does this sound ok? Isnt oats an allergen too? Argh!!

    Then onto the vitamin c issue (because it aids in the absorption of iron) Well, i eat grapefruit,but apparently that is another allergen...what am i supposed to give him then? And why is orange juice ok, but not oranges?

    In any case, i am still bfing 10-12 times a day. The whole solids issue seems very complicated, almost every food seems to be an allergen.

    I am not sure exactly what it is about solids that make them necessary in the first place. Is it the carbohydrates? I thought that bm had everything babies needed, and if not, what does it lack, and from what age is it insufficient? Most advice about solids talks about 'when the baby is ready', but doesnt specify why bm is no longer enough. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

    First off, glad you are asking these questions instead of just doing what the doctors says to do...

    Does your child show any signs of anemia? How about giving turkey? VERY high in iron, not an allergy food (unless you already know your child is allergic).

    There are many thinks baby can eat, my son has all the major food protein allergies (dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, wheat and fish) and at 8 months, he eats bananas, pears, avocado, sweet potatoes and we are currently trying cheerios just for fun. He has also had some turkey, carrots, and peas. Pretty soon we will start broccoli and then mixing it up a bit. It seems a lot more difficult than it really is!

    Hope this helps!

    Sarah

    p.s. Your baby really doesn't HAVE to have solids right now...BM is fine!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

    Now I'm worried about the iron in the fortified cereal that I am feeding my dd! Is it keeping her from absorbing the iron in breastmilk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

    My son is 9 mos. old. We are on solids, including Oatmeal, veggies, and some fruits that contain iron. At his doc. appmnt. they checked his iron levels and they are great. Doc. was very impressed. So, we are doing fine here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: the iron issue for a 9m old, and other q's

    I think the reason that no one says exactly when breastmilk no longer meets nutritional needs is that they don't really know. There are no current samples of EBF older babies large enough to really know. I have read some things that suggest the early introduction of solids became necessary with the beginnings of formula--the formula was deficient and so supplemental foods were needed. Before use of formula was widespread, many more babies started solids much later.

    I think the iron issue depends a lot on the baby, not necessarily on BFing. My son was EBF until he was 21 months old. He refused solids and had NOTHING other the breastmilk. I never gave him any iron supplements or vitamins, and his hemoglobin was at the TOP of the normal range when checked at 20 months. He did have serious weight gain issues, and stopped growing after 12 months. However, when we went for his first appointment at the feeding clinic, the nutritionist said that she saw babies my son's age who refused solids but continued to thrive on only breastmilk. In our case, my supply had dropped, and she suggested I try to increase my supply while we worked on the solids. So, EBF older babies do exist and thrive. Another example--my younger brother had SEVERE food allergies as a child and was very ill. The allergist ordered that he be taken off all solid foods and return to EBF when he was a year old. After not gaining weight for 6 months with the solids, he began to gain again with EBF. He didn't start solids again until sometime around age 2 and even then the introduction was very slow.

    Of course, recommendations for all babies can't be made just by looking at few cases, but I think you need to look at the individual child. As PP said, is the child anemic? Are his iron stores low? If not, then why given iron supplements?

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