Is it true that Breastmilk doesn't have enough iron in it after 6 months??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I took DS for his stupid WBC today and the NP told me that we needed to start him on solids b/c my breastmilk doesn't have enough iron in it after 6 months. I still take my PNVs and Nettles for iron. I know that MY iron is lower b/c my breastmilk gives everything to DS, so I try to make sure I am getting plenty.

I am pretty sure that this is NOT TRUE, but I needs some resources. I'd like to go in prepared next time. I thought that giving him solids would cause him to stop absorbing the good iron from my BM.

I am not ready to start solids, and am totally prepared to BF exclusively until after DS's surgery (hopefully in May), so that we can maybe shorten the length of time he goes without food. DS has a colostomy, and I don't want to chance constipation and even nastier poops than I already deal with. Constipation could set back his recovery, and I just don't want that to happen.

Everything I have read says that babies who are exclusively BFed heal faster than babies getting adult foods/solids or formula.

Anywho, if you can help me, PLEASE do!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 03:37 AM
 
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I don't know where to look, but as long as he's healthy I'd say the burden to provide proof is on the NP and not you. Anyhoo, you don't have to take the NP's (or ped's) advice anyway. Since the WHO recommends bf-ing exclusively for 9 months, and Mothering does too, I bet you can find plenty of info on here.

They sound gloriously uninformed.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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Simonee I don't think Mothering recommends anything in terms of when to start solids....

The AAP recommends starting solids after 6 months and before 1 year. A healthy full term baby is generally born with enough iron stores to last around 9 months - possibly more or less ... especially depending on when the cord was cut. most babies get a simple blood test at 9 months to check their iron. (hematocrit)

there is not much iron in breastmilk but it is highly bioavailable unlike the iron in ABM, fortified foods like cereal, and vitamins. In fact some research has shown that the iron in fortified foods and ABM interferes with the absorbtion in breastmilk and other foods where iron is naturally occuring.

Like Simonee my opinion is the burden of proof is on the doctor that told you this. (especially since she won't be able to)

since my twins were premature I did give them iron drops and then iron cereal when they started solids and they still get vitamins with iron in them... their oron levels had always come back borderline... but my singelton was full term and we let his cord stop pulsing on it's own and he has always had normal iron levels so he ever got iron suppliments or cereal for that matter.

My twins started solids around 9 or 10 months and my singelton started at around 7 months. i waited till they were grabbing for my food and shoving it in their mouths LOL

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#4 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 12:06 PM
 
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This is my understanding:

There are low iron levels in BM compared to other foods, but what there is the baby digests 100% - unlike formula or baby cereal -- much of that "supplemental iron" is undigestable passed through the baby's system.

Babies are born with a natural supply of iron stores in their bodies that they get from mom before birth. They estimate that it is gone by around 6 months, give or take.

I started giving ds a few bluberries or cut up red grapes around 6 months. They have iron in them. But he had a lot of teeth and seemed receptive to it.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 03:40 PM
 
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Someone else would know more than me, but is it possible to give a baby a small dose of Floradix? This is a liquid iron supplement, made in Austria, that is NOT constipating. I get a large bottle for $32 at Whole Foods or my local health food store. My CNM recommended it for me when traditional iron pills (from my PCP) wrecked my stomach. The Floradix ended my stomach and constipation problems, and zoomed my hematocrit counts from 28 to 38! In a month!

I should think there ought to be a baby version of this, or a safe baby dose. Perhaps a Naturopathic Doctor would know? It's one idea.

Good luck to you,

Mel
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#6 of 11 Old 01-18-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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yes you can give a baby floridax (i think there's a baby version) but i wouldn't give iron drops unless the dr PROVED (with a hematocrit) that there was low iron.... not just b/c the dr says "oh there's no iron in breastmilk after 6 months"

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#7 of 11 Old 01-19-2003, 05:53 PM
 
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My ds started solids closer to a year, we didn't give him extra iron, and his iron levels were always good. And yes, he was breastfeeding.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#8 of 11 Old 01-19-2003, 10:12 PM
 
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Breastmilk is the perfect infant food. It has everything a baby needs. If it is lacking a particular nutrient, it's because the baby doesn't need it.

Of course, if baby wants solids at 6 mo, it couldn't hurt to let him have both.
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#9 of 11 Old 01-20-2003, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all...my DS likes to put EVERYTHING in his mouth, but if it's food that goes there, he spits it right back out. He doesn't swallow anything but BM.

I just wanted to be sure that I was doing the right thing by following my instincts.

Hugs to you all!
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#10 of 11 Old 01-20-2003, 11:17 AM
 
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always follow your instincts!! you're doing great mama

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#11 of 11 Old 01-20-2003, 05:03 PM
 
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30% of exclusivly BF babies have low iron at 9 months (which incedently is when most babies are starting solids). That also means 70% are not. Before starting iron supplements have his iron checked. If you feed him solids be sure it is stuff *naturally* high in iron. No need to worry at 6 months thoughNo need to worry at nine months either but if you are concerned it certainly wouldn't hurt to have it checked.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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