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Old 05-26-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
Christine C
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Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

So my son just turned a year old less than a week ago and he is still eating about 95% breast milk during the day, he only takes small bites of food and then doesn't want any more. But we went in to WIC and they tested his iron and it was at 9.5 and it's supposed to be at 11.1 for the minimum I guess. He needs to go in to the lab to get his iron and lead tests done by his doctors office but I want to try and increase his iron intake naturally. I have a chart of foods rich in iron but I have no idea how long it could take to raise the levels in his blood and if giving him these foods would even make a difference. Any one else have any tips/been through this situation. The nutritionist at WIC practically looked at me like my head just popped off when I said that we wouldn't do cereals fortified with iron or the vitamin drops!

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Old 05-26-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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Similar issues here... Doctor wanted DS on a Flintstones vitamin, primarily for low iron. We smiled and said we understood, thank you, and never bought them. We have done our research and believe it's best for our boy (23 mo.) at this point to eat what is nutritious and still nurse on demand

Happy birthday to your baby!

P.S. DS has never tasted those baby cereals, though he likes Cheerios and very-high-in-iron Grape Nuts

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Old 05-26-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

I think supplementation is being pushed a lot lately. My pediatrician wants my newborn on vitamin D supplements! I just do the smile and nod and do whatever the heck we believe to be right. I have a friend who is a holistic nutritionist and I always talk to her when my doctor recommends supplements.


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Old 05-26-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
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Re: Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

After 6 months, the iron stores the baby is born with deplete. Usually people start adding iron rich foods or a vitamin supplement at this point. Low iron at this age can lead to cognitive delays later, so you want iron. Probably, you won't be able to get the iron levels up very high very quickly without a supplement at this point. You need iron rich foods, a source of vitamin C at the same time and less dairy within 2 hours of the iron rich food to have better iron absorption. If your kid (or you) don't like the fortified baby cereals, Cheerios have a lot of iron per serving. My kids always loved cheerios, so we ate a lot of them around this age. White beans, chicken livers, and spinach are also good sources if you can get your kids to eat them.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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Re: Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

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Originally Posted by Queen_Celeste View Post
After 6 months, the iron stores the baby is born with deplete. Usually people start adding iron rich foods or a vitamin supplement at this point. Low iron at this age can lead to cognitive delays later, so you want iron. Probably, you won't be able to get the iron levels up very high very quickly without a supplement at this point. You need iron rich foods, a source of vitamin C at the same time and less dairy within 2 hours of the iron rich food to have better iron absorption. If your kid (or you) don't like the fortified baby cereals, Cheerios have a lot of iron per serving. My kids always loved cheerios, so we ate a lot of them around this age. White beans, chicken livers, and spinach are also good sources if you can get your kids to eat them.

Can I take an iron supplement if I am EBF still... Will that increase iron in my breast milk?



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Old 05-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

Why do you hesitate using supplement? Are you worried about the safety of vitamin supplement? Because I'd honestly worry more about my baby getting anemic & its effects on LO's health...I think 9.5 is too low not too supplement. It takes a while to increase Fe level...especially if you're trying to treat it by diet only. I probably would supplement if it were closer to 10-10.5 but personally would use the supplement and increase Fe intake via diet since it's 9.5. Another alternative can be just using the supplement temporarily to increase the Fe level and wean off slowly while continuing to increase Fe intake on diet. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: Low Iron plus doctors and WIC pushing supplements

I think that the choice is yours. I would be polite to the doc/ wic ladies because they are trying to help and are just going with the "mainstream" solution. That doesn't mean that you can't come up with your own solution, provided that your solution works. I would do the testing now to get a baseline..and then work hard to add food that have iron (i vote cheerios and you could get them from WIC), but put a time frame in place. In 30days/60 days if this hasn't worked i will try another option. Find a supplement you would want to use (i'm thinking floridix if they have a kid version).
I had to use a calcium supplement for my son because we reduced dairy and i found a natural one that got the calcium mostly from veggies. I just kept my doctor in the loop, showed him what he was taking (and what he ate/ i supplemented only 50% of what he needed and used a healthy diet to fill the gap.)
I am also in the belief that when it comes to health if what you do doesn't work..take the supplement the doc gives you or do the cereal they suggest.
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