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Iron stores at 6 mos bf

(13 Posts)
Hulla Wed 22-Jul-09 17:59:34

I have posted about this before but I have a slightly different question this time.

My HV has told me that I need to give DD (6 months) vitamin drops because iron stores are low when bf at 6 months.

I went to the chemist today and found two brands of vitamin drops, neither of which have iron in them.

I don't see the point in giving dd the drops if they don't contain iron. Is there a specific brand I need to find?

I am not even 100% certain that dd needs the drops but thought I'd have a look as we're BLW and she might not actually eat much for a while.

Any ideas?

If my iron stores are low should I be taking iron supplements rather than dd?

ilovemydogandmrobama Wed 22-Jul-09 18:12:19

how does she know this? Blood test?

Floradix is a good natural way of getting iron.

joyjac Wed 22-Jul-09 19:00:15

My understanding is that the iron in breastmilk, while small in quantity, is very bio-available. This means more is absorbed by the baby than in artificial preparations.
By the way, the baby's iron stores don't disappear overnight when the baby turns 6 months. As long as the baby is nursing, and eating small quantities of solid food, then I would be loathe to intervene. Unless the baby showed signs of iron deficiency. Pity health visitors didn't feel the same.

hercules1 Wed 22-Jul-09 19:07:29

You dont need to give any supplements. Your hv is talking bollox. Iron stores do start to deplete around this time however the iron is breastmilk is fairly easily absorbed by baby. Just carry on weaning at your baby's pace.

Hulla Wed 22-Jul-09 19:48:45

Thanks everyone.

Nope no blood test, it was blanket advice but I kind of though "how has the human race continued with this bm flaw before supplements existed?"

Thanks for the reassurance.

Carrie06 Wed 22-Jul-09 20:01:01

The drops are for vitamins A, C and D, not iron. FF babies don't need them as already in their milk. Not much of a HV if she can't get this right!

MamaHobgoblin Wed 22-Jul-09 20:39:08

My HV (a new one, and sadly not the one we normally saw) didn't mention iron supplements at all, and I actually brought it up myself because I wanted to test her see what her take on it was. She was very dismissive - if DS was still BF and getting a nice range of solids, as he was, then there's absolutely no need, and they wouldn't advise it unless a baby's health or behaviour indicated the need for a blood test.

CMOTdibbler Wed 22-Jul-09 20:52:50

Iron stores are not low, and iron from breastmilk is well absorbed (recent study showed ferritin levels can actually increase during exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months). It is important that as milk feeds drop, the baby is exchanging that milk for a varied diet which contains sufficient iron - if you feed on demand and offer a good diet this will all sort itself out.

The only thing that there is any evidence for supplementation of is Vitamin D. If you are likely to be deficient in Vit D (ie, do not supplement your diet, tend not to be outside in daylight, or cover all of your skin, or live in the far north), and your baby is outside for less than 15 minutes a day, or covered during that time, it is worth supplementing your diet at least.

No evidence for vit A or C supplements

tiktok Wed 22-Jul-09 23:00:05

Hulla, it's very poor of your HV if she really thinks and says these things. How much has she got wrong....let's see:

* Iron is not a vitamin

* you cannot get iron in infant vitamin drops

* iron stores are not 'low' at 6 mths - they are what is physiologically appropriate at that age. You might as well say 'babies are too small' or 'babies don't have enough hair'

* a baby beginning to eat foods other than milk will get the iron she needs from her increasing amount of foods

Perhaps check with her and see if she really meant to get all of this wrong? Maybe you misunderstood?

Hulla Thu 23-Jul-09 07:52:29

Thanks everyone, I am going to baby clinic today to get out of the house have dd weighed so I will ask about it then.

I am fairly sure I haven't got the wrong end of the stick though as she kindly wrote it on the front of my weaning booklet when we had our weaning visit at 4 months.

I posted about it a couple of months ago and I recall that cherrychoc thought the advice might be linked to were I live. I do see a lot of babies in prams eating wotsits for breakfast...

I'll let you know what she says.

Thanks again.

Hulla Thu 23-Jul-09 07:58:43

Oh Carrie06 - she did mention that formula has added iron but she was very positive about me continuing to bf (in that she brought it up and not me).

She is very nice and was probably getting more sleep at the time than I was so I will check with her today. It could have been my sleep-deprived-memory playing tricks.

Hulla Thu 23-Jul-09 11:11:05

Update: My HV wasn't at clinic today but I asked another one. She said yes, she probably did mean that I'd have to give drops to meet dd iron requirements but not to worry as she'll get enough from weaning.

tiktok Thu 23-Jul-09 13:54:29

Another one who thinks iron is in infant vitamin drops.

Good that she said your dd didn't need iron, though

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