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Breast Feeding

Iron supplement for 4mo. old breastfed baby

10/16/2000

Question:

My son is 4 months old and solely breast fed. He was critically ill when born and received blood transfusions. Should I be giving him iron supplements? I gave him supplements until his 4 mo. check up and at that time the dr. said to stop. However, I am not giving him solids yet and have read that at 4 mo. babies need more iron. Thank you!

Answer:

Iron stores the full term infant has at birth along with the easily absorbed iron in human milk are usually enough to prevent anemia in the breastfed infant. One study showed that infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first seven months have a reduced risk of anemia. (Pisacane, et al, 1995, Iron status in breast-fed infants. Journal of Pediatrics: 127 (3):429-431) However, since your son had a difficult beginning, you should discuss your concerns further with your son`s health care provider since he/she is the one familiar with his unique history.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati