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  • Iron Supplements

    So at our last ped visit (the 2 month visit) he prescribed iron supplements for our daughter. I just didn't feel right about that, but didn't realize that I didn't feel right about it until later so I didn't ask questions then.

    Later on, I started doing some research & have found one study that talks about how giving iron supplements to a newborn exclusively breastfed baby can actually cause them to NOT absorb iron as well & they get LESS iron because of it. I've also read that it's kind of standard practice for peds to prescribe iron supplements to exclusively breastfed babies because there's some view that they are iron deficient.

    Like I said above, I just don't feel right about giving them to her & my husband doesn't either. The ped never did an actual test to see if she's iron deficient, he just prescribed them. I've also heard they can cause constipation. Has anyone seen any other studies or does anyone have any other info on this? We did give them to her for the first couple days & aside from green poo, have not seen any bad effects, but we just don't feel right about it. Advice?

  • #2
    we've had discussions at LLL about this and all the things you said are true, they can cause constipation, it does cause iron to be less absorbed, etc. i think following your gut is right here, and i do think the green poo is a sign of her not tolerating it.

    i believe you'll run into the same thing at her one year check-up where they'll try to give you vitamin D.

    whenever i hear things like this, i think, how did our babies ever survive before pharmaceutical companies began???

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    • #3
      In breastfed babies the iron does not absorb as well as it does w/ FF babies so this why Drs are very fast to prescribe iron to any and all bf'd babies. My Dr did the same thing and was shocked when I sd I wouldn't give it to my DD's w/out getting the test first. I just don't see a reason for giving my girls something that they may no need. Now if we find out they are animic then thats different but until then no thanks.

      I say go w/ your gut Mama. You are the expert on your baby so listen to what you are feeling.

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      • #4
        My experience

        I have not done the research, but I find it difficult to believe that any baby being exclusively breastfeed needs any supplements, iron or otherwise. My 7 month old is exclusively breastfeed, no supplements, and he's a healthy, happy, plump boy! (I tried giving him banana, he totally wasn't interested.) My daughter was breastfed exclusively til at least 6 months and didn't really get into solid foods until 9 or 10 months. I never gave her iron supplements and she was totally healthy as well. Breastmilk is the perfect food, IMO!

        HTH.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
          we've had discussions at LLL about this and all the things you said are true, they can cause constipation, it does cause iron to be less absorbed, etc. i think following your gut is right here, and i do think the green poo is a sign of her not tolerating it.

          i believe you'll run into the same thing at her one year check-up where they'll try to give you vitamin D.

          whenever i hear things like this, i think, how did our babies ever survive before pharmaceutical companies began???
          Ditto!

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          • #6
            This is directly from the AAP policy on Breastfeeding.....http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...s%3b100/6/1035

            "In the first 6 months, water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary for breastfed infants.105,106 Vitamin D and iron may need to be given before 6 months of age in selected groups of infants (vitamin D for infants whose mothers are vitamin D-deficient or those infants not exposed to adequate sunlight; iron for those who have low iron stores or anemia).107-109 "

            http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html
            Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary?

            Read this stuff.... I really wonder if the docs get a kick back each time they get a parent "hooked" on it!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
              T I really wonder if the docs get a kick back each time they get a parent "hooked" on it!
              I wonder this all the time! Its crazy what they tell new parents that they "need" and in truth very very few babies need the V-D, iron and anything else. Sad.

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              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your support. I knew it just didn't feel right and it's nice to know that others feel the same way.

                I've completely stopped the supplements (we only did 2 days of it anyway) and am going to print out the article from Kellymom to show to the ped because it has all those lovely references on it of studies that have been done showing iron is really not necessary.

                When the Academy changes their stance on something (i.e. from "give all bf babies iron supplements to iron supplements are only necc for anemic babies) how do the peds find out? Do they send out some kind of bulletin or are they expected to keep up on it themselves or what? I don't really feel it should be my place to educate my ped on the latest research (of course I will if it means the health of my child!), but it doesn't seem like the AAP is doing what they should if he doesn't know. OR like has been insinuated here, are the supplement people responsible for perhaps "paying off" peds? I think it's no surprise that the brand of the supplements we were given is Enfamil.

                Not to sound too ranty, my ped is actually really good and is really supportive of bfing even extended bfing which makes me very happy. He's also great at listening and explaining why he's doing the things he's doing.

                I think something I've learned also with this experience is that it's been ingrained in me to just trust what doctors say. Well, I have found in many cases that that's just not the case. They may be misinformed or not know my body as well as I do. It's nice for me to realize that it's OKAY to question doctor's decisions and not just take everything they say as correct. No experience where I have learned something is completely bad, right?

                Thank you again to everyone for being here and being so supportive about these things. I wish we had an AP group here!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bikil View Post
                  When the Academy changes their stance on something (i.e. from "give all bf babies iron supplements to iron supplements are only necc for anemic babies) how do the peds find out? Do they send out some kind of bulletin or are they expected to keep up on it themselves or what? I don't really feel it should be my place to educate my ped on the latest research (of course I will if it means the health of my child!), but it doesn't seem like the AAP is doing what they should if he doesn't know. OR like has been insinuated here, are the supplement people responsible for perhaps "paying off" peds? I think it's no surprise that the brand of the supplements we were given is Enfamil.
                  well, i like to assume the best of people. i'd like to think that it's b/c the human body is way too complex for any one doc to know everything. so it would be impossible to stay on top of ALL the latest stuff, esp. as fast as information is doubling these days. so maybe your ped. spends lots of time on researching neuro-developmental disorders, or early cancer signs, etc., but hasn't gotten to the supplement research, or something like that.
                  Originally posted by Bikil View Post
                  Thank you again to everyone for being here and being so supportive about these things. I wish we had an AP group here!
                  start your own!!

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                  • #10
                    I am so happy to see this thread! When I took DS to see the Dr. for his 8 week appointment (after having seen my MW for the first 6 weeks) she was shocked that he wasn't on Vitamin D supplements and insisted I get some. This was teh first I'd ever heard of it. And when I asked at my BF group, everyone (public health nurse included) reacted the same way.

                    So I bought some, but just didn't feel right giving them to him. Isn't breast milk the ideal thing for him? he had the drops once, but i just couldn't do it again. Now, having read these responses, I feel alot better about my decision

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