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anemic 11-month-old

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
my dd will be a year in a few weeks. she just had a well-baby visit, and they poked her finger and took a little blood to test for lead and so on. her iron is very low, and i'm worried because she's a tiny baby. she's so small she's not even on the curve.

i'm really concerned. she's been eating solids for several months now, but her primary source of nutrition is still my breastmilk. i had a horrible time breastfeeding when she was new because she was a preemie and kept in the hospital for 3 weeks, and i just couldn't let down to a pump. i had a very low milk supply at first and we had to supplement with the special preemie-formula to get her out of the hospital. even the lactation consultant told me it was ok to give up, but i stuck with it, and she has had almost exclusively breastmilk since she came home till about 7 or 8 months. after going through all that, i'm now worried there may be something wrong with my milk. maybe i'm not getting enough iron. i've had a tendency towards anemia, even as a teen when i was eating red meat regularly. we're lacto-ovo vegetarian and i'm afraid i'll be told she'll have to eat meat, or i will.

i've been trying to make sure she's eating naturally iron-rich foods, because the doctor cautoned me about it when she started solids. she really loves spinach. she gets organic infant cereal, and i've been buying the multi-grain because it's more iron-rich than the plain brown rice. she likes tofu, and we've been adding blackstrap molasses, nutritional yeast and kelp in tiny quantities to her food. she likes egg yolk and whole-grain pasta. we've been giving her prune juice in a cup, with a little rosehip tea or orange-carrot juice for vitamin C to improve iron absorption.

the nurse practioner i spoke with suggested i try to find natural infant vitamin drops with iron. i'm concerned about non-food-based iron supplements because fortified formula caused a real problem for ds when he was a baby, and iron supplements made me sick as a teen. i've started taking blackstrap molasses and brewers yeast daily in milk or soymilk. should i go back to taking prenatal or another vitamin with iron? what about the baby? i've been soaking iron-rich dried fruits and rosehips in water and adding the mineral-infused water to her food or juice, but it's too soon to tell if it's doing any good.

i'm concerned because yesterday she vomitted once after dinner, and we can't figure out why. she was constipated for several days. at first i thought she was still adjusting to solids, but now she's been to the doctor i wonder if it's because her iron's low. she had no bowel movements for at least a day, and then this morning with mush grunting, crying and squeezing, she finally passed a stool that was hard and balled up and barely stuck to the diaper at all. the poor thing, i'm sure she was in pain! this morning she had 4 hard stools, one right after the other, and then her poop finally returned to something resembling normal this evening.

what am i doing wrong? i don't want to go back to eating meat. it never really helped me when i was an anemic teen, anyway. is there a better way for me to prepare or combine her food to improve iron absorption? is there a gentle, food-based supplement i can give her? i'm calling the doctor again in the morning. i'm really worried.

peace,
post #2 of 6
the floradix floravital iron supplement is food based (the yeast and honey free version is best for babies)

i'm giving my 10 month, 22 pound ds 5 ml a day. it tastes good - like fruit juice - so i had no problem getting it into him.

it might be good for you, too - evidently the iron in it is much more absorbable than the iron in vitamin pills. it's also supposed to be non-constipating.

here's some good information on iron/anemia and bf babies:

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

hth!
post #3 of 6
Constipation might be a sign of iron that your baby can't digest very well. Babies digest iron from bm way better than from foods or fortified food/supplements.

Also the constipation and vomiting might be signs your baby isn't ready for food, I don't know but I did read some stuff about iron at kellymom when I was reading up on bf'ing. I hope this helps!

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

Quote:
La Leche League recommends that babies be offered foods that are naturally rich in iron, rather than iron-fortified foods.
and
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/anemia-gone.html

Quote:
How one mother successfully battled anemia in her baby...
and
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ay-solids.html

Quote:
The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In a study done by Pisacane in 1995, the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia.
post #4 of 6
hehe sorry jane, I didn't notice your link was from kellymom as well!
post #5 of 6
Quickening, no problem, I love Kellymom's site!

BTW, I've only just started giving ds floradix. I'm worried about his lead levels, and I want to make sure he has a little additional iron since he doesn't eat very much to combat it. OTOH, after re-reading Kellymom's site, I'm not convinced it's the best course of action....I'm a little conflicted. :
post #6 of 6
I think you've got a lot of useful info, and I'd definitely second Floradix! You shd be able to find that at Whole Foods, or your local health food store.

One thing abt spinach. I read its oxalic acid can prevent absorption of calcium n other minerals, so maybe you shd go easy on that.

I hope things improve soon, take care!!
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