Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Jeani | 2009-07-22

Q.

Iron supplement for breastfed baby

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

Iron supplements are usually not needed.

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2
user comments

C.

Posted by: Purple | 2009-07-22


Breastmilk is low in iron, however, ALL the iron in the breastmilk is absorbed by your baby and it is sufficient for baby' s needs.

Formula is fortified with iron, becuase it is cows milk based and calves have different nutritional requirements to human babies, one of which is the amount of iron needed.

Iron given in formula or as a supplement to a baby is only partially absorbed (only a tiny amount of it is absorbed) and it leads to green stools and constipation.

Breastfed babies don' t need iron supplementation as they are getting what is required from the breastmilk.

You might also be noticing that the iron is making your baby fussy. Don' t know why that happens, but it does tend to make babies fuss a bit.

Something else you might get told is that breastmilk has no vitamin D. This is correct, it doesn' t, but you don' t need to give a supplement, so long as baby gets a minute or two of sunshine a day (without sunscreen) - so sunshine on the hands and feet counts too, this is sufficient. Also, it is stored in the body, so even if there are long periods in winter with no sun, what baby got in summer is sufficient. In the early months baby has your vitamin D reserves to draw on.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Jeani | 2009-07-22

My GP suggested that I must give my exclusively breastfed baby of 6 months, an iron supplement. I got Chelafer syrup but it says you should give 5ml from 2 y and up. I gave him 2,5ml but now it looks like he is constipated. How much should I be giving him and what can I do to help with the constipation?

Thanks very much for the advice.

Reply to Jeani

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