Dread anemia! - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Dread anemia!
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 06:52 PM 08-27-2010
Our 9-month-old just had his 9-month well-baby visit, and his hemoglobin levels are low (8.5 - normal range is something like 10-14.5) - the doctor of course wants us to give him an iron supplement.

Quick backstory: our baby was born at 33 weeks but has always been otherwise super-healthy. But he didn't get the full final trimester to bulk up his iron stores, so between that and the fact that he eats very few solids yet, we're not terribly surprised that his iron levels are low. Sigh.

However, we'd really like to avoid an iron supplement for him if possible. Any guidance on where to go with solids? He doesn't eat rice cereal (we're prepared to try it if we have to, though!) or commercial baby food. He doesn't really care for purees in general (but apple sauce is sometimes okay). He likes steamed green veggies (broccoli, green beans, etc), but I don't know how much he actually gets down. He enjoys gumming noodles and crackers. We fed him some nori (dried seaweed) yesterday and that was a surprisingly big hit, but even though it's high in iron, I'm unsure about giving it to him more often because of the salt content.

Basically, he is still really into food as playtime, which is fine and appropriate but makes me want to maximize the iron available to him in the foods he gums - is that the right approach? What foods should we be focusing on?

Otherwise, can you recommend an iron supplement that isn't the horrible Tri-Vi-Sol death grape stuff?

omelette's Avatar omelette 07:47 PM 08-27-2010
You could go to a compounding pharmacy and get iron compounded in olive oil. That's what I did for a vitamin d supplement.
Springshowers's Avatar Springshowers 08:07 PM 08-27-2010
Can you add more iron to your diet to help baby? I know with Vitamin D if the mother has enough in her blood stream the baby gets all she needs from breastmilk... likely the same with iron too.
Pandme's Avatar Pandme 09:46 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMonkey View Post
Can you add more iron to your diet to help baby? I know with Vitamin D if the mother has enough in her blood stream the baby gets all she needs from breastmilk... likely the same with iron too.
Not really. Not according to KEllymom.

OP, we use Floravital (Floradix) as an iron supplement. Doesn't taste nearly as gross as the drug store iron drops.
Springshowers's Avatar Springshowers 11:15 PM 08-27-2010
They say the same with Vitamin D too... that it doesn't go throuogh breastmilk. However the study actually said that IF the mother had low levels, the baby didn't get enough. BUT if the mother had reasonably high levels then the baby got more than enough. I wonder what they actually know about iron??

The whole not enough iron after 6 months is not really as it appears either if you look at the studies... yes breastfed babies had less than formula fed babies, however they were not being supplemented daily with iron in formula.

Lots to research just not enough time!
Pandme's Avatar Pandme 11:44 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMonkey View Post
They say the same with Vitamin D too... that it doesn't go throuogh breastmilk. However the study actually said that IF the mother had low levels, the baby didn't get enough. BUT if the mother had reasonably high levels then the baby got more than enough. I wonder what they actually know about iron??

The whole not enough iron after 6 months is not really as it appears either if you look at the studies... yes breastfed babies had less than formula fed babies, however they were not being supplemented daily with iron in formula.

Lots to research just not enough time!
I have a really fantastic iron level. Had it during pregnancy, still have it now (was just tested). My non-solids eating daughter is anemic (or was, at 10 months). Her hemo was 8.9. Mine is 14.6. I eat iron rich solids in abundance, take a prenatal.

It made no difference.
carmel23's Avatar carmel23 11:35 PM 08-28-2010
Do you guys eat meat? We've had luck making albodignas soup for our little one, which has some rice, but is also meat.

But you have to be careful about what type of meat you feed your little one, it has to be hormone and antibiotic free, at least.

Our ped. recommended meat if we didn't want to feed out little one rice cereal.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 03:20 PM 08-30-2010
Yes, we eat meat (hence my own excellent iron levels, I suppose) - my husband has been researching and thinks that maybe liver is the way to go, so I guess we'll try to find some that's free-range and see if that helps.

For those that use Floradix, what dosage do you go with?
Pandme's Avatar Pandme 08:29 PM 08-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Yes, we eat meat (hence my own excellent iron levels, I suppose) - my husband has been researching and thinks that maybe liver is the way to go, so I guess we'll try to find some that's free-range and see if that helps.

For those that use Floradix, what dosage do you go with?
5 ml.
MeredithK's Avatar MeredithK 08:41 PM 08-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post

For those that use Floradix, what dosage do you go with?
I believe that the Floradix has honey in it, so if you are not giving your LO honey, you should go with Floravitals instead. Same thing, just no gluten or honey. You may want to check their website before you buy any just to make sure.

Good luck, my DS is anemic, too. We treat with food and a supplement. Our naturopath gave us a different supplement to use and LO really likes it.
marisa724's Avatar marisa724 10:43 PM 08-30-2010
One thing my DS1 loved when we were trying to boost his iron was black beans and rice. He always hated "regular" baby foods but he loved things that had a little flavor to them. This was when he was just past a year, so you might want to mash it up a little more if your DS isn't chewing yet.

We would also mix a little powdered infant cereal into applesauce so that he'd get a little iron boost from that as well. It just made it a little thicker, he didn't seem to mind.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 11:10 PM 08-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeredithK View Post
Our naturopath gave us a different supplement to use and LO really likes it.
Ooh - can you share the name?
MeredithK's Avatar MeredithK 01:00 PM 08-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Ooh - can you share the name?
It's NF Formulas Liquid Iron. I would call the company or ask your Dr for the correct dose for your LO.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 06:28 PM 09-02-2010
I'm bumping this thread back up as my meat eating, mama milk drinking, with an occasional bottle of iron fortified formula 11 month old son is at a 7.9, I just went to my WIC meeting and they blasted me about it. What does he eat, does he drink milk, yada, yada, yada.

I seriously don't get it, at all. He eats red meat, beans, all the things he *should* be, right now I am being ultra-cautious as he had a severe allergic reaction last month and I am awaiting his bloodtests to come back with results. He is extremely active, and never appears lethargic, so I'm confused.

I'm ok with honey now, he's old enough, so Floradix or Florvital would be good for him, any advice is appreciated.
Pandme's Avatar Pandme 09:27 PM 09-02-2010
Norasmomma, I agree that IS odd. Has his lead level been tested?
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 12:19 PM 09-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandme View Post
Norasmomma, I agree that IS odd. Has his lead level been tested?
No. We live in an old house but he doesn't chew on surfaces, I'm calling my Dr today about it.

I guess when I was severely anemic I looked fine, they were surprised I even had color, maybe he's like me IDK. Before he was "low", but he was at 10.5, which is on the low end of normal after I looked it up.

My only other thing is he just was very ill with a massive fever last week, I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 12:12 AM 09-06-2010
Ugh - setback. Our moderately-crunchy ped relative says that she thinks at his levels, he really needs a supplement in addition to iron-rich foods (the amount of liver he'd have to eat every day is unrealistic), so we tried Fer-In-Sol... against my gut instinct.

Cue copious vomiting from a baby who has never even spit up. Again, against my gut instinct, we thought maybe it was a coincidence. So a few days later we tried a half dose on a full stomach. More vomiting.

So - the Fer-In-Sol is out. We're looking at Floradix or Floravital right now. Those who use it, what dosage do you go with?
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 01:57 AM 09-06-2010
Ugh pt. 2: this older MDC thread - http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=606806 - makes it seem like Fer-In-Sol or a prescription version may be our only options.

I'd love to hear from other parents who successfully tackled this. Right now our best idea is to space the dosage out in small increments through the day, in hopes that that will upset his tummy the least. But I'd love a better option!
nycmom18's Avatar nycmom18 02:17 AM 09-06-2010
i dont have any solid advice, but i have heard through other forums that because every person is different, sometimes they absorb "iron rich" sources well, and others dont. so some people absorb meat sources well and others might better absorb green plant sources better. could you do a multivitamin with iron? that way you know you're getting some but it may not be too much for your babes tummy. along with combining iron rich sources with vitamin c rich foods.

egg yolks
red meat and dark meat
liver
blackstrap molasses
greens(spinach, kale, etc) but make sure to switch the greens up every once in a while
beans

and the other thing i was thinking is to absorb your nutrients, you should be eliminating regularly...how is his elimination?

HTH
sunshadow's Avatar sunshadow 11:35 AM 09-06-2010
My daughter had very low iron (7.5) when she was tested for the first time. She was a bit older though, 11 months. This was over two years ago, so I can't remember the exact dosage, but we use floravital and it worked great. Her pediatrician had recommended Fer-In-Sol, but I had heard that was harder to absorb and caused more constipation issues, which my daughter already had issues with, so that wasn't an option in my mind.

You can call the floradix people and ask for the dosage for a baby. I gave my daughter only a very small amount in the morning mixed with a shot glass of orange juice, one hour before she ate. I don't know what the mother did in that other thread, but the vitamin C helps absorption and waiting an hour to eat keeps other food from blocking absorption. Also, in that other post she only waited a month for results? It takes longer than that. Our daughters pediatrician was so impressed with the results my daughter got with floravital that she started recommending it over Fer-In-Sol to other parents.

Lentils and hummus are some iron rich foods that babies sometimes really love.
ShwarmaQueen's Avatar ShwarmaQueen 02:48 PM 09-06-2010
DS was dx with anemia at his 9 mo checkup also. I use a combo method- pureed fruit/brown rice or oatmeal cereal/ and a tiny spoon of Animal Parade vitamin supplement. I was against baby purees and cereal, but I wasn't sure if he'd get his levels up on his own with BLW. So I'll put him in the high chair with his diced up fruit/veggies/toast etc and then spoon feed him (in between his own bites) the fruit/cereal/vitamin supplement.
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