Baby Has Low Iron Level

Updated on May 21, 2007
N.K. asks from Chicago, IL
9 answers

A blood test revealed that my 3 month old son has an iron deficiency (His level is 9.5) We've started giving him poly-vi-sol with iron. I'm worried. Has anyone else dealt with this?

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A.N.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, N.!
Yes, I had the same issue with both of my children. My older one had it as an infant and my son is now having the problem (at about 2.) Once they start on the vitamins, though, things seem to be fine : )
Good luck!
A.
PS - My mom just recently told me that they used to always give infants iron supplements!?!

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

N.,
I'm not a doctor or anything so consider that when reading my response. My son, who is now 5, had a low hemaglobin level at 9 months. The 9.5 you refer to is the hemaglobin level. The usual cause of a low hemaglobin is iron deficiency. So the doctors first try to add iron to the baby's diet and then recheck the hemaglobin after they've been on the iron supplement a while. If the hemaglobin does not go up they may give it a little more time and check again. If it is still not up after that or if at any time it drops they will start to look for another cause for low hemaglobin besides an iron deficiency. Just to ease your mind I think 9.5 is considered low but in no way a dangerously low level.
In my son's case the low hemaglobin was not caused by low iron levels. When his hemaglobin did not go up after the iron supplement was added we were sent to a hematologist for further tests. That is why I ended up learning so much about hemaglobin levels and what they mean. However let me say that my son if fine. After they figured out what was going on with my son we discovered that the extreme and stubburn jaundice he developed a few days after birth was also due to his condition.
Was your son treated for jaundice after birth? (I in no way mean to imply that having jaundice would indicate that your son has the same condition as mine since many babies develop jaundice and it clears up in no time.)
Hope this help,
M. P

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter had a low iron level, so I gave her a daily iron supplement. Your little one is too young for solids, but I also changed my daughter's diet a bit so that she would soak up the iron. When giving them an iron-rich food, you are supposed to serve it with vitamin C like OJ or cantaloupe to help the body absorb the iron. Someone also told me that a low iron level is common with breastfed babies, and that I should have continued taking my iron after my daughter was born. Anyways, the next time she was tested, she was fine, so we took her off the iron and have had no problems since.

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B.M.

answers from Chicago on

My son is on Poly-vi-sol, he is 2 years old. There are no real issues. However, sometimes the vitamin can cause constipation. Make sure he has a good fiber diet.

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A.N.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, N.!
Yes, I had the same issue with both of my children. My older one had it as an infant and my son is now having the problem (at about 2.) Once they start on the vitamins, though, things seem to be fine : )
Good luck!
A.
PS - My mom just recently told me that they used to always give infants iron supplements!?!

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B.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi N.,
My older son had the same issue. There is a better children's vitamin than poly-vi-sol. Shaklee makes a tastless powder and its made with no dyes.

After a few months on the new vitamin infant mix, his levels were in the normal range.

If you'd like some info on the Shaklee vitamin, let me know!
Good Luck!
B.

N.P.

answers from Chicago on

My twinkies are on poly-vi-sol as we speak. No concerns here. :)

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A.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi. Yes I did a while ago with 2 of my sons. When both were little they had low iron. I too had to put them on Poly Visol. It was fine and nothing to worry about.

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

N.,
Are you breastfeeding? If so, your baby's results would most likely show that he has low iron. Usually, this is nothing to worry about with breastfed babies. I'm hoping the lactation consultants will respond. In the meantime, I can say that there is something different about iron in breastfed babies compared to formula fed babies. The iron in breastmilk is more easily absorbed than that in formula. Thus, low iron results are often nothing to worry about if babies are being breastfed.
Amy

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D.F.

answers from Chicago on

My son had low iron. He took supplements for about 2 months and had NO problems (other than discolored teeth. The deficiency was resolved. It was not a big deal!

Our ped. told us it was pretty common, esp. in breast fed babies, and had no worries about any ongoing issues.

good luck,

D.

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