Iron Supplementation and Your Baby

Iron Supplementation and Your Baby

Results of recent basic research support the concerns that iron-deficiency anemia and iron deficiency without anemia during infancy and childhood can have long lasting detrimental effects on neurodevelopment.

Full-term healthy babies receive enough iron from their mothers in the third trimester of pregnancy to last for the first four months of life.

  • If your baby is breastfed: Human milk contains little iron, so infants who are exclusively breastfed are at increased risk of iron deficiency after four months of age. The AAP recommends giving breastfed infants a liquid iron supplement, such as Poly-Vi-Sol with Iron, until iron-containing solid foods are introduced at about six months of age. Iron intake of 11 mg/day between six to twelve months is recommended by the AAP. Supplementation may be continued dependent on dietary intake of iron containing solids. Check with your provider for further guidance.
  • If your baby is partially breastfed: The iron recommendation remains the same as that for fully breastfed babies if more than half of the daily feedings are from human milk and the child is not receiving iron-containing complementary foods.
  • If your baby is on infant formula: It is recommended that you use iron-fortified formula (containing from 4 to 12 mg of iron) from birth through the entire first year of life.
  • Premature babies have fewer iron stores, so they often need additional iron beyond what they receive from breastmilk or formula. Check with your provider for further guidance.

Our office routinely screens at 12 months of age for iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia as recommended by AAP’s guidelines.  For further information please click on the following link: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Vitamin-Iron-Supplements.aspx

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