or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Toddler Health › Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy › Iron deficiency
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Iron deficiency - Page 2

post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJamie View Post
I don't think anyone was disputing that it's the best source...however, it being the best source doesn't mean it's the ONLY source.

I agree with this. I exclusively breastfed my baby until she was over 1 and because I have low iron issues, she was tested at her checkup. I believe it was at her one year checkup, because she was still not eating solids. She was found to be low in iron, even though I take supps. So she took iron drops for about a year, until solid food was well established. And, I nursed her until she was 2.5, so that was not the issue.

I think it is important to recognize that while breastmilk is the best food for babies and nursing well into toddlerhood (and beyond) is healthy, that does not mean that the child will be getting all the nutrition he/she needs. If the mother is lacking in certain vitamins and minerals or if there is a medical reason the child is not getting all they need, there could be cause for supplementation. As it is in the best interest of the child's health to do this, when you have good reason, why on earth would anyone argue this? Why on earth would anyone see fit to question any mother's attempt to make sure her child gets the nutrition he/she needs. The "lies" refer to the blanket statement that all children need supplements. Some, in fact, really do. To question the need for this in the children of others is not very supportive or helpful.

natesmamma - if something is nagging you, then perhaps there is something to this. Look at Dr. Green's info about anemia and see if your child has symptoms? If so, testing may be a good idea. If not, don't worry about it.
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
For the average breastfeeding baby, no iron supplements should be needed, unless given to the mom.
This is your opinion. One opinion. One should never base their actions on the opinion of one person on a website. While there is a plethora of good information here at MDC, I think it wise for all parents to do as much research as they can into their and their children's health. And, occasionally, unlikely as it may seem to you MITB, seeing a medical professional is actually a good idea that can result in improved health.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl View Post
This is your opinion. One opinion. One should never base their actions on the opinion of one person on a website. While there is a plethora of good information here at MDC, I think it wise for all parents to do as much research as they can into their and their children's health. And, occasionally, unlikely as it may seem to you MITB, seeing a medical professional is actually a good idea that can result in improved health.
Actually it isn't just her opinion. here is some info
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html
http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/vitamin.html

So most fullterm healthy babies and toddler shouldn't need any other suppliments or vitamins.
Too many Peds just automactially suggest or try to push the iron vitamins telling BFing moms that their milk is no longer producing enough iron.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
For the average breastfeeding baby, no iron supplements should be needed, unless given to the mom.
I don't think that's correct, actually. Iron supplementation in mom doesn't have much effect on iron levels in breastmilk.

From kellymom:
Quote:
Additional iron intake by the mother will not increase iron levels in breastmilk, even if the mother is anemic. Iron supplements taken by mom may produce constipation in baby. Anemia in the nursing mother has been associated with poor milk supply, however.
And from LLL:
Quote:
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.
Not all BF babies will need iron supplementation, but some will. I would not supplement my child unless I knew his iron level was low. Anemia is nothing to mess around with, and if I had any concerns whatsoever about my child's levels, I'd simply have them checked out. It's just a fingerprick - easypeasy, no big deal. I'm very glad we had my son tested at 9 months, as his levels were getting into the severe range of low (8). We've had him on iron supplements for a little over a month now, and the change in him is incredible. His coloring has improved, he's happier, and I can see him making leaps in his development, too.
post #25 of 45
Every time that my babies hemoglobin was low, it turned out they had lead poisoning/exposure. There is no way to measure actual iron, only to measure hemoglobin. That is why I said a good doctor will find the actual cause and not just treat the symptoms.
I thank my Doctor for finding out my babies had lead poisoning, rather than just dosing them up with iron.

Iron in breastmilk is the best way to get baby the needed iron when they are deficient. Anemia is rare, but it's usually not from just lack of iron.
I am anemic. I can take iron supplements until my poop is black. My body does not utilize the iron. In my case, it turned out I am allergic to certain fruits that are normally used for Vit C. As we know, Vit C is needed and so is calcium, for the body to take in iron. I had to completely change my diet and add certain foods and take out certain foods, in order to no longer be anemic.

My case is only one example, there are others. But to just give iron supplements without finding out why, is not always the best choice.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelbets View Post

Not all BF babies will need iron supplementation, but some will. I would not supplement my child unless I knew his iron level was low. Anemia is nothing to mess around with, and if I had any concerns whatsoever about my child's levels, I'd simply have them checked out. It's just a fingerprick - easypeasy, no big deal. I'm very glad we had my son tested at 9 months, as his levels were getting into the severe range of low (8). We've had him on iron supplements for a little over a month now, and the change in him is incredible. His coloring has improved, he's happier, and I can see him making leaps in his development, too.
I totally agree!

dd's count was 6.8- much lower and ahe would have had a transfusion. She was admitted to the hospital for a complete bloodwork upas well as tests to determine if there was an internal bleed. Everything came back perfect- except her hemoglobin. A CBC is not only a chemical check of the blood but also a visual check to see what the blood cells look like. Chronic anemia due to nutritional defceincy is diagnosed after a complete work up and the red blood cells have a particular shape and size.

We were followed up with monthly blood tests, visits with a nutritionist, and follwed by a hematologist. About 2 weeks after the iron therapy began, my dd "woke" up, started sitting, eating, babbling, gained weight, andbecame a much happier, smiley baby. I joked that she would be doing calculus, the change was so dramatic. I am amazed that I didn't see the effects of her anemia sooner but she was a preemie. They are often delayed during the first few months/years so nobody (not her other doctors, not her therapists, nobody) caught it before her regular heel stick test at 9 mos. Even at the 9 mo visit nobody mentioned she looked pale until after the result was known. Suddenly they all (doctors and nurses) claimed it was obvious and made me feel horrible for not knowing what to look for.

I think the message should be out there- Even BFd babies can suffer from anemia. It is possible.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
Anemia is not always caused from lack of iron. It is the body that is unable to utilize the iron it is getting. A good doctor would have found the cause of the anemia, not just pumped a child full of iron.
Not all anemia has a diagnosable cause. I have been anemic my entire life. For no apparent reason. I have an auto-immune disorder now that I am an adult, but I didn't have one when I was a child.

When I was 3 I as anemic. Now that I am 30 I am anemic. My dr's have looked my whole life into WHY I am anemic. No one is quite sure. We just know that I am. Perhaps it is genetic... some people children are anemic. Period. They require iron supplements. The more bioreadily available the better, but they still need them.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pynki View Post
Not all anemia has a diagnosable cause. I have been anemic my entire life. For no apparent reason. I have an auto-immune disorder now that I am an adult, but I didn't have one when I was a child.

When I was 3 I as anemic. Now that I am 30 I am anemic. My dr's have looked my whole life into WHY I am anemic. No one is quite sure. We just know that I am. Perhaps it is genetic... some people children are anemic. Period. They require iron supplements. The more bioreadily available the better, but they still need them.
That is scary. I would think on an NFL site the pushing of drugs would not be likely here.
None of my doctors know why my mother and I are anemic, either, but we changed our diet so we did not need the supplements. That is all I am saying.

If you want to take supplements, go for it. It's not the healthiest choice, but it's still a choice.
post #29 of 45
Well, since you don't know my diet or what I take for supplementation I don't think that's a fair supposition by you.

The only thing that works and works fast is floradix. Which is whole plant parts and it IS healthy for me. It's a d@mn sight better than chronic fatigue, lethargy, and dizziness. Especially with a newborn, or just children around in general.

I'm glad diet changes worked for you. Nothing else has worked for me. I was forced to eat liver as a child to try and help with my chronic extreme anemia. Why? Because the supplementation available in the 70's was harsh on the system.

Blah, blah... anyway... Yeah. Sometimes iron supplemenation IS the lesser of the evils. There are healthful supplements out there.
post #30 of 45
MITB, I'm wondering - your story seems to have changed in the posts in this thread. First, you and your kids were always just fine...then you're anemic, and so are they, but really it's lead poisoning and an allergy to fruit. Or did I miss something? :

Regardless, what I find to be scary is information being shot down and disputed on a NFL site because it doesn't fit in with a pet theory, even though the pet theory really doesn't add much information to the discussion at hand.

No one is suggesting that ALL breastfed toddlers need iron supplements. The discussion is what to give IF they DO need it.
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post

My case is only one example, there are others. But to just give iron supplements without finding out why, is not always the best choice.
I did not see anyone stating otherwise. In fact, what has been written is how important it is to have tests done before you supplement.

And, as jamie wrote, your story does seem to be changing.......
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
That is scary. I would think on an NFL site the pushing of drugs would not be likely here.
None of my doctors know why my mother and I are anemic, either, but we changed our diet so we did not need the supplements. That is all I am saying.

If you want to take supplements, go for it. It's not the healthiest choice, but it's still a choice.
I see a naturopath as my main medical doctor. My whole family sees her. I am on my third in 13 years and they have all been licensed in our state and trained at the esteemed Bastyr University (near Seattle). A key component of turning my health around and achieving and keeping good health has been changing my diet, lifestyle, and using supplements. My husband now sees her and takes supplements. My child sees her and takes a multivitamin daily. As a person for whom natural family living and good health are very, very important, supplements are a key component of my health plan. I do not see my body, unfortunately, as being able to take care of itself without help. I do not eat red meat and need iron, so I take iron supplements. Taking supplements is not for everyone, but it is in keeping with a natural lifestyle for many of us to take vitamins, herbs, and other supplements to stay healthy, keep the immune system strong, and help keep the body healthy.

As Dr. Weil says, "Vitamins, minerals and other supplements won't compensate for a poor diet, but they can help fill nutritional gaps in a good one."

And, please, what is so scary about taking supplements or advising others that they may find them helpful? You make it sound like we are pushing hardcore, addictive drugs. And, besides, your life is not 100% natural if you are using a computer as much as you are. NFL would be writing a letter. Snail mail.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
There is no way to measure actual iron, only to measure hemoglobin.
What about serum ferritin levels? Kellymom's page on iron seems to indicate that it measures iron stores.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelbets
From kellymom:
Quote:
Additional iron intake by the mother will not increase iron levels in breastmilk, even if the mother is anemic. Iron supplements taken by mom may produce constipation in baby. Anemia in the nursing mother has been associated with poor milk supply, however.
And from LLL:
Quote:
:
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.
As you can see, the info above is contradictory. Taking iron will not increase the iron in her milk, but can still constipate her baby?

I had a 37 week baby. I was borderline anemic during pregnancy but ferrous sulfate (usually prescribed by drs) did not agree with me. It made me incredibly constipated and I did not pursue other kinds of iron supplementation. Hint: if you have an uncontrollable urge to chew ice, you are probably anemic. This is pica. Also, anemia can cause restless leg syndrome in kids and adults. If you have a very poor twitchy sleeper next to you at night, this might be why.

My baby was probably born early b/c of my untreated anemia. Her placenta was breaking down. When she was 9 mo, and still fully bfed, we were both tested and were both found to be anemic. Giving her ordinary iron drops made her scream in agony 4 hours later. So I had to stop. I took ferrous sulfate myself, and 4 hours later, she screamed with the same extreme pain, from getting it in my milk.

Then I tried Floradix. She still screamed in the same way. It was very frustrating. I had no other options but to increase the iron and vit C rich whole foods in our diet. This worked over the course of the next few months and we both normalized.

I have a tendency to be anemic. Most women world-wide of childbearing age are anemic, just from menstruating, pregnancy (when blood supply goes to the baby), and during bfing (when the mother's blood stores of iron go into her milk). Most women do not get enough iron rich or vit C foods. Premature or multiple babies are more prone to anemia b/c they do not get as much iron from the placenta. Any time your child has a growth spurt and their blood volume suddenly increases, it can get low in iron (hemoglobin).

Many mothers and their children do well with Floradix. Another natural option is liquid chlorophyll (Nature's Sunshine makes one, it is pleasant tasting). Children can take it in water (and a nice side effect is that it reduces your susceptibility to sunburn). If you want to take iron in pill form, I have since found that ferrous fumurate (as opposed to sulfate), is easier on the intestines, if taken with 1000 mg of vit C, daily.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
As we know, Vit C is needed and so is calcium, for the body to take in iron.
I just wanted to point out that calcium BLOCKS the absorption of iron. Vitamin C though is needed to loosen the bonds and make iron more readily usable in the body.

Also ferrus gluconate is also generally more absorbable to the body than ferrus sulfate as well.
post #36 of 45
As further proof that breastfed babies can become anemic, my son was diagnosed anemic at 12 months. He had a month of bad colds that he could not shake, was losing weight and was on his second round of antibiotics. When they did bloodwork, he was anemic. After a month of iron supplementation, he was doing great. I also added domperidone to increase my milk supply, nursed more and forgot the horrible pediatrician's advice to practically forcefeed him a ridiculous amount of food every day. Problem solved, thanks to an email to the wonderful Dr. Jack Newman.

What would I do differently next time? Include an iron-fortified cereal as a staple in the baby's diet. Last time I did not and I am so sorry my son had to suffer as a result. I was interested in feeding my own healthy, organic baby food (he started solids very gradually when he showed signs of readiness at 5 months) so he began with fruits and veggies, not cereals. I would still make my own foods, but also include an organic, fortified cereal. This is not a prescription for everyone, but it is what I will do with my next babe to prevent unnecessary medical problems.
post #37 of 45
Babies can become anemic temporarily after a virus (as per Dr Greene's site).

Giving artificial iron (drops, in cereal or artificial baby milk) to a breastfed baby can block their ability to absorb the iron in your milk, and is not recommended. In the huge majority of cases, fully bfed, full term singleton babies will not become anemic. Studies have shown that babies receiving solids before 7 mos are more likely to become anemic than those starting solids later. It is not a good idea to give a bfed healthy (full term singleton) baby artifical iron "pre-emptively."

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html

Quote:
The iron in breastmilk is bound to proteins which make it available to the baby only, thus preventing potentially harmful bacteria... from using it. These two specialized proteins in breastmilk (lactoferrin and transferrin) pick up and bind iron from baby's intestinal tract...

The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. As long as your baby is exclusively breastfed (and receiving no iron supplements or iron-fortified foods), the specialized proteins in breastmilk ensure that baby gets the available iron... Iron supplements and iron in other foods is available on a first come, first served basis, and there is a regular "free-for-all" in the baby's gut over it. The "bad" bacteria thrive on the free iron in the gut. In addition, iron supplements can overwhelm the iron-binding abilities of the proteins in breastmilk, thus making some of the iron from breastmilk (which was previously available to baby only) available to bacteria, also. The result: baby tends to get a lower percentage of the available iron.

Supplemental iron...can interfere with zinc absorption...

A recent study (Dewey 2002) found that routine iron supplementation of breastfed babies with normal hemoglobin levels may present risks to the infant, including slower growth (length and head circumference) and increased risk of diarrhea.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl View Post
I do not eat red meat and need iron, so I take iron supplements.
You might want to check out the Vegetarian/Vegan forum, they have figured out how to get the necessary iron and protein without meat.



Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl View Post
And, besides, your life is not 100% natural if you are using a computer as much as you are. NFL would be writing a letter. Snail mail.
No, that would be wasting trees. Computers, when used for mass communication, saves trees, paper, etc. The little bit of toxicity makes up for the millions of pollutants spewed into the air from manufacturing paper, pens, ink, etc.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJamie View Post
MITB, I'm wondering - your story seems to have changed in the posts in this thread. First, you and your kids were always just fine...then you're anemic, and so are they, but really it's lead poisoning and an allergy to fruit. Or did I miss something? :
You missed a lot. None of my children are anemic. All have had lead poisoning/exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJamie View Post
No one is suggesting that ALL breastfed toddlers need iron supplements. The discussion is what to give IF they DO need it.
And I am saying that breastmilk will provide the necessary iron. If you are not breastfeeding, then supplement. If you are breastfeeding and the baby is anemic, something else is going on.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
In the past, when I believed the lies about breastfeeding and low iron, but they were always fine.

I just make sure that I am eating well and getting enough iron, myself.

Umm, I am still breastfeeding my soon to be 18-month old son and he is severely anemic. He is on an iron supplement now. I eat plenty of meat and include lots of protein and iron in my diet. There are lies about breastfeeding, but low iron occuring in breastfeeding children is not one of them, not always.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Toddler Health › Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy › Iron deficiency