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Thread: Iron?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Iron?

    I have a friend who ebf and her baby wants nothing to do with solids right now. Her ped. told her that the baby will be fine to ebf until she's 1, but that she'll need an iron supplement because she won't be getting enough iron if she's not getting solids. Seems it would be the opposite to me?? If she's getting too many solids and not enough bm (which should still be her primary source of nutrition), THEN she could be iron deficient. Is this accurate?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Iron?

    Does anyone know about the iron?
    I was also reading yesterday that baby has enough iron stores until he/she is 6 months old and then has to get enough iron from elsewhere (supplements or food) or else could become anemic. Doesn't breastmilk supply sufficient iron after 6 months? I'm curious about this now, too, since my dd is 6.5 months old.

    Thanks!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Iron?

    Hi mom23,
    Seems like you may have already read up a bit on iron. Did you find these links? They all discuss iron a little.
    Should My Breastfed Baby Be Receiving Vitamin or Fluoride Supplements?
    First foods for babies
    Session 202: Micronutrient Needs during Infancy: Minerals and Human Milk

    According to LLL's BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK, anemia is uncommon in the breastfed baby.
    A healthy, full-term baby has ample iron stores at birth, which are enough to last for at least six months, when combined with the iron received from human milk.
    Although the amount of iron in human milk is small, it is well-absorbed -- between 20 & 40 percent (as opposed to 4 percent from iron-fortified formula). The high lactose and vitamin C levels in human milk aid in the absorption of iron.
    One study of breastfed babies not given iron supplements or iron-fortified cereal found that those who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months or longer had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one and two years than breastfed babies who had received solid foods earlier than seven months.

    LLL suggests offering meat early among solid foods because of its high iron and protein content. In vegetarian families other foods high in protein may be substituted for meat. FMI, see Raising a Vegetarian Child.

    If you (or your friend) are concerned about your baby's iron level, you could have your doctor check the blood levels with a hemoglobin test in the doctor's office.

    Does this help to answer your questions?

    Mary

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Iron?

    Thanks Mary, this helps a ton.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Iron?

    if she does deside that the baby needs extra iron there is a brand at the health food store that is called flora dix.. its all from plants and has the extra vitiman c in it to help it be absorbed. When my dd had a low finger prick we used flora dix.
    We tired the iron drops and she would just spit them out. she at least took the flora dix. My dd was almost 1 1/2 before we gave her the flora dix..
    good luck! Testing for iron can be an easy finger prick!

    http://www.florahealth.com/flora/hom...geFlag=0#R4771

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Iron?

    different doctors have different ideas about iron and infants, and i've noticed that ones who are more well-educated about breastfeeding and who are more openly supportive don't recommend iron supplements until babies are 12 months old, whereas others who are more "mainstream" begin recommending then at 6 months.

    also at the LLL area conference in chicago there was a talk about starting solids and the speaker said that babies can live on BM alone for 12 months without needing iron supplements or other supplements (unless your baby has some sort of health issue).

    i guess the answer to this question really depends on who you're talking to!

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Iron?

    I have a question for this topic. I have been breastfeeding (and pumping) since my son was born. We've started introducing solids (rice cereal, bananas, peaches, peas, green beans, etc). I haven't gotten around to buying more prenatal vitamins. I ran out several months ago. When my son was at the doctor's, they said he was slightly anemic. (My in-laws took him there so I wasn't there). She recommended iron supplements. I generally trust her judgement because she's been supportive of everything (Breastfeeding and co-sleeping). I'm wondering if the fact I haven't been taking my vitamins would mean less iron in my breast milk. We also haven't been feeding him solids as often as we probably should. Any advice?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Iron?

    Hi hcary48101,

    The choice of whether or not to supplement will be between you and your baby's HCP. The link from above (Should My Breastfed Baby Be Receiving Vitamin or Fluoride Supplements?) contains this paragraph.

    "Women are often advised to continue to take prenatal vitamins as long as they are breastfeeding and these vitamins often include a large dose of iron. The iron levels in a mother's milk are not affected by the amount of iron in her diet or by iron supplements she may take."

    Meat is recommended by LLL as one of the earlier solid foods because it is a good source of iron. But iron can be found in abundance in certain plant foods, too (like broccoli & beans).

    Here is good link for info about starting solids
    First foods for babies

    Does this help with your concerns?

    Mary

  9. #9
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Iron?

    So the fact that I haven't been taking my prenatal vitamins like I should would not be affecting the iron in my breastmilk. Correct? I would like to try feeding him foods containing iron before I try vitamin supplements but we'll see. It's been hard giving him food because I work full time and by the time I get home I have 2 hours before it's time to get him ready for bed. It's been easier just to breastfeed him and occassionally we give him food but I'll play around and see. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Iron?

    So the fact that I haven't been taking my prenatal vitamins like I should would not be affecting the iron in my breastmilk. Correct?
    That's how I understand it.

    I would like to try feeding him foods containing iron before I try vitamin supplements but we'll see. It's been hard giving him food because I work full time and by the time I get home I have 2 hours before it's time to get him ready for bed. It's been easier just to breastfeed him and occassionally we give him food but I'll play around and see. Thanks.
    I can see how you would want to focus on breastfeeding and bonding after being away during the day. It's a great way to reconnect. Could he get his solids while he is with his caregiver while you are away? BTW, how old is he?

    Mary

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