Iron--According to THE BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK, published by LLLI, the iron in human milk is better absorbed by your baby than is the iron in cow's milk or iron-fortified formula. This means that the quantity of iron in human milk is appropriate for baby instead of the larger quantity in cow's milk. The full-term healthy baby usually has no need of additional iron until about the middle of his first year, around the time he starts taking solids. The high lactose ad vitamin C levels in human milk aid the absorption of iron, and breastfed babies do not lose iron through their bowels.
If there is concern about the baby's iron levels, a simple hemoglobin test can be done in the doctor's office. If necessary, it is easy to offer the baby foods which are naturally rich in iron. However, iron drops and iron-fortified foods sometimes cause digestive upsets when given to babies and can actually reduce the efficiency of iron absorption.
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.