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Iron and vitamins supplements for late premature babies? (36 weeker)(21 Posts)
My son was born at 36 weeks and is now a nice big chunky 4 month old (could never have imagined it from his tiny beginnings!) He has been pretty much exclusively breastfed after the first few days of life. No-one said anything to us about vitamin or iron supplements, but I have just come across information saying that breastfed premature babies run out of iron stores early and should be supplemented. aargh!
Health visitor and GP don't know, and we have never seen a paediatrician after discharge.
I have friends with premature babies who do supplement with iron but they were all more premature than mine. I don't want to give it to him unnecessarily as he already has to take medication for another (unrelated) condition, which is a huge struggle as it is.
Has anyone got any experience with this? Thanks in advance!
My 4 month old chunky monkey DD was born at 36+0 and was prescribed vitamins and iron at discharge from hospital to take until weaning. She hasn't seen a paed since. I am exclusively breastfeeding. Maybe ring the hospital where you gave birth if you want to check?
My 7 month DS2 was born at 35+5. Was prescribed iron and vits. I didn't give them. At the paed follow up the dr was not that happy, but agreed that as I was FF I could skip the iron until 6 months but he still had to do the vits. At 6 months he was to have iron or swap to follow on milk, if he could tolerate it. TBH he was on 3 different reflux meds until recently, so an extra syringe was no problem. Apparently they're meant to keep taking them till aged 5!
No one ever told me anything about this (I'll add another entry to the "lax parent" column in my spreadsheet)... either with my 33+6 week one or my "god I feel such a fraud when people call her premature cos she's HUUUUGE" 7lb 36+0 weeker!
Thank you so much for replies everyone. MiaowTheCat I'll join you in the lax parent stakes Chickabilla and bonzo - what iron preparation were you given and how much? I wonder if it's even too late at this stage? Will definitely try to contact the hospital but not sure who to speak to.
DS was born at 35+0, and wasn't given anything. We never saw anyone after SCBU discharge either, in spite of the fact he'd been pretty unwell in the first few days.
I had from our NICU - "We're meant to follow you up because of her birthweight - we're not going to bother - any problems, go to A+E" as our aftercare!
We give 1ml of Sytron daily and abidec multivitamin. We were never in SCBU, just on the ward and don't have any follow up. I don't know about the iron but you can buy abidec at supermarkets and chemists and I think they generally recommend multivitamins for 0-5 year olds anyway so it wouldn't be too late. We give our other 2 DCs a multivitamin.
Thanks CMOTDibbler and Chickabilla!
I picked up some Wellkid baby drops today which seem to be quite similar to Abidec in composition. They have a small amount of iron in too so might just hedge my bets with that Trying to contact the hospital - we weren't in SCBU either so not sure if it will be a bit of a wild goose chase.
MiaowTheCat, that's awful! At least my hospital had the decency to make lack of follow up their policy
35 + 2 here and dd was given multivits and iron 'till she's weaned'. incidentally does anyone know when they are classed as weaned for this purpose? we are doing blw and dd is offered solids now, but mostly just plays with them.
we had no scbu follow up either.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks everyone. So it seems to be kind of hit and miss!
Saw GP who said "hmm, I don't know, he looks pink and healthy so I would say probably not?"
I remembered we were seen by a Paeds consultant for prolonged jaundice - tried to contact her for advice but was thwarted by her evil secretary who insisted I must see GP. See above.
Health visitor got back to me after checking with dietician - apparently vitamins and iron not necessary until 6 months for a 36 weeker as long as I took vitamins during pregnancy, which I did. Hadn't heard of that before but interesting.
googling internet research, there is no consensus - some say vitamins and iron as a blanket for all premature babies, others specify only those of birthweight <1.8kg or before 34 weeks.
So I'm going to stick with the Wellkid vitamin/iron drops and hope for the best! If anyone finds out a definitive answer I'd love to hear it! Thanks again all.
that's interesting, I was anaemic during pregnancy; maybe that's why they gave dd iron drops
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I think the Wellkid is a great compromise (not least because prems can be a bit low on a wide range of minerals not just iron). If they had prescribed iron it was likely to be Sytron - which is v hard to tolerate and tends to cause sore tummies and worsen reflux - so in some ways its a good thing you swerved it. Used to take poor DD's breath away...
Thanks Poppet! He isn't that impressed with Wellkid, but it's such a tiny amount I can just shoot it in followed by a swift chaser of breastmilk. If I'd thought of it sooner I'd have given it from much earlier but I guess you live and learn.
Totally agree about the Sytron, I'm sure that's what gives DD tummy pain - I started a thread about it on here a few weeks ago. Wellkid sounds like a good plan but it is all very confusing!
DS4 was born at 35+3. He had folic acid for a while, maybe something else as well and abidec vitamins. He was just on the abidec after 2 weeks I think and we were told he needed that until weaning. Then he was put on breastmilk fortifier just before discharge and they told me he didn't need abidec while on that but to restart if he stopped the fortifier.
35+4 DS wasn't given any supplements (7.5 years ago, in case it's a recent policy change). And he is honestly fine - you'd never ever know that he was under 5lb at birth now
No one believes either of my two were premature (DD2 just sneaked in being defined as prem though)... DD1 is in 2-3 year clothes at 15 months (and she was sub 5lb when born), and DD2 is in 6-9 month clothes at 4 months.
One of the NICU docs was chatting to DH in the lift when he was coming into the hospital to visit me having just had DD2... and put DD1's age at a 2 year old - was most shocked when told she wasn't even 1 at that point and she was an ex-NICU resident (thankfully it wasn't the doctor DD1 had slapped taking exception to the endless heel jabbing for blood tests - god she was a feisty bugger even then!)
I wasn't at all anaemic while pregnant though - had iron levels that kept making my midwife squeal with joy.
DD was 34+0 and at first she wasn't given vits and iron, then she was but only because someone had written her down as 33+6. Apparently 34 weeks was my hospital's cut off for giving vits and iron.
Anyway I stopped giving them a few weeks after she came home because she hated them so much and I thought they were making her digestive issues worse. I started giving Wellkid at 6 months actual as she was still BF.
She's growing very well (now at 9 months she is above average size for her actual age) so hopefully all is ok, though I do worry about it.
I did take vits and iron during pregnancy so that is reassuring Aidan
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