Re: starting solids because of low iron?
There are differing opinions on when solids should be introduced. The American Academy of Pediatrics section on breastfeeding recommends that "Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced gradually beginning around 6 months of age," acknowledging that "Preterm and low birth weight infants and infants with hematologic disorders or infants who had inadequate iron stores at birth generally require iron supplementation before 6 months of age." They go on to say that "Iron may be administered while continuing exclusive breastfeeding," i.e. that it is possible to supplement an exclusively breastfed baby with vitamin drops instead of introducing solids. But this advice differs from what the AAP's committee on nutrition recommends: "introduction of complementary foods between 4 and 6 months of age when safe and nutritious complementary foods are available."
So, what should you do? In general, breastmilk contains sufficient iron to meet a baby's needs. It doesn't have superabundant iron, like formula does, but the iron it does have is more easily utilized by the body. So if your baby was full term, seems happy and healthy, and is gaining adequate weight, then that indicates to me that her iron stores are probably fine and there's no reason to bow to your pediatrician's pressure to start solids before you feel your baby is ready. In addition, if you opted for delayed cord clamping (>30 seconds) when your baby was born, your baby should have plenty of iron in her. (Delayed clamping has been shown to improve a baby's iron stores for approximately 6 months after birth.)
That being said, if YOUR iron is low, then there's probably more reason to offer a daily dropper of multivitamin. Either way, a blood test for iron levels at 6 months is not a bad idea. It's a heel stick or finger prick, and then you KNOW whether or not you really need to work on offering iron-rich solids and/or vitamins. The blood test for anemia is often done in concert with a test for lead levels, which is another thing you may want to know.
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