Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Under a Chimpocracy
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Here is the scoop. A baby lays down iron stores while in utero. They run out by around 6 months. BUT, your milk contains just the right amt of iron, in a very absorbable form, to continue to maintain his hemoglobin at healthy levels.
If you are not anemic and not menstruating, taking iron supplements yourself would be unneccessary. I have heard taking iron when you don't need it can cause liver damage.
I did have one child who had her hemoglobin levels checked at 9 mos and she was anemic. I had lost some blood during the birth and turned out to be anemic too. We could not find an iron supplement that agreed with our tummies. Even when I took one (Floradix, but I hear they have improved it by now) and she got some thru my milk, she would scream like a fire engine when it would hit her system.
She was born 3 weeks early. I had very persistant bronchitis during my middle trimester and I think it affected my placenta, making it break down to cause her to be born early as it was no longer sustaining her.
Premies and multiples are more prone to anemia, as they don't lay down the usual amt of placental iron.
Cereals are no longer recced for babies younger than about 8 months as new studies are showing babies lack digestive enzymes to utilize the nutrition from these foods. Use of artificial iron can interfere with her ability to absorb the natural iron in your milk.
Continue to breastfeed and offer solids when baby seems to want them. Use small amts at first. Table foods, such as yams and avocadoes are a good first food. Some babies do well with bananas, while some babies get constipated. Wait til baby can sit up unassisted.
Oh, and our anemia? Both our levels came up with continued bfing and a whole foods diet. Some people do well with Floradix as a supplement. Have a blood test to rule out anemia, for either of you, if you want.