5 answers

Really Low Hemoglobin (Not Iron) Levels in 14 Month Old-- Corrected

I am besides myself & horribly confused! At my son's 1 yr check up the Ped gave us the normal lab order to get lead and iron levels drawn. At our Ped's office they don't do a finger prick, but a full draw.

I was concerned about the lead more than the iron, because he seemed overly eager to eat dirt, and lots of it. We have an older home, and I was concerned about the lead in the soil. I have heard that some kids eat a lot of dirt for mineral deficiencies, but I wasn't overly concerned.

My lil' guy is 24 lbs 50% & 90th height...and my 1st was always below the 10th so I thought I was doing great feeding him. But I got a call today from the Ped's office threatening to have to hospitalize my son because he was 'severely anemic" She said his tests showed 8.8? I am stunned...

He is breastfed, and I would say nurses way more than my 1st. But he doesn't act like he's overly hungry, and I feed him the exact same way I fed my 1st son. I thought I was feeding them a very round diet that was sufficient in iron. He doesn't like diary milk so I know its not because of over consumption of milk.

Other than irritability I didn't see any other symptoms of him being anemic! He's not overly tired or pale? We did have a horrible time getting these draws. The first time I took him, he was poked and prodded, had 4 failed attempts where they asked me to come back. I waited a week and went back and they got "enough" after two tries.

Now I have to go back today, and get another set of tests done because they have to rule other things out. I'm really worried..Any suggestions! Anyone mom have that low of a score. I feel horrible!

Some examples of his diet:
PB&J, meat, tuna sandwiches
yogurts, avocados, apples, bananas ?
Dried cereals fortified w/ iron (shredded wheat, rice chex, cherios, Life etc
He loves oatmeal...I usually give that to it 2 x /week
Dinner: pastas, chicken, ground beef in pasta sauces, even meatloaf, burritos (cheese + beans etc) + a veggie (although he only eats some peas, and sweet potatoes)
Not too interested in the lentils, but I have offered it to him. I just don't get it?

What can I do next?

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More Answers

I would have them retest and then call your dr. also for your iron level to be tested. My first thought is that you are borderline anemic and that is passing , or not passing on to him.

My son was borderline anemic at birth and they had me suppliment with formula. I eventually switch to just formula. Hopefully you'll just need to suppliment or add vitamin drops.

A trick I learned about having blood drawn is to have your son drink water or nurse about 30m before the appointment. This will have him be hydrated and plump the veins so that they are easier to find/poke. I've done this with my daughter 2 times and each time was a world better than the very first time!

Good luck. Stay calm.
M.

It sounds like you and your little guy have been through a lot the last week. A great source to try for raising hemoglobin is Floradix. You can find it at any Whole Foods or natural foods store. I would suggest you take it as well, if he is breastfeeding a lot you may be anemic as well. Clorophyll (I prefer the mint flavor) is fantastic. It stains terrible though so probably not a good idea for baby.
Yellow dock and dandelion root tincture are effective and non constipating. It is important that he is getting enough Vitamin C for proper absorption and usage of the iron.
As for the cause- I wish I could help there. I don't know. In my experience as a doula and midwife in training it is rare that I see low hemoglobin in breastfed infants. It is also important to know that loading yourself up on iron won't necessarily increase the iron content of your milk, it will replace whatever you may be needing for yourself.
I also wonder about the draw itself. Low hemoglobin is sometimes seen in a baby that may have been sick recently with a virus or illness.
I hope you get answers. And that the retest is more peaceful and easier for you and him.

PS And thanks to Amy the RN for the info on the CORTICES. I will definitely be putting the technique to use.

Hi Luvmyboyz :-0

Firstly.. do you think they meant 8.8 hemoglobin, not iron level? A hemoglobin of 8.8 is indeed low, but what you are feeding him sounds as if his menu is well rounded, especially if he is eating meat and tuna... the only thing I see missing are some greens? You might want to begin to introduce some of the Popeye stuff :-)

How is your son's hydration status? Does he drink water? Other juices? How is your breast milk, does it flow easily and do you have enough?

You can check your son's gums and tongue to see if they are pale. How is his energy status, everything seem ok?

I would have some doubts first about the blood draws, since they had to stick him so many times.. you say you have to go back "today" and it is 5:00 pm where you are at this moment (8:00 pm EST)... are you meaning tomorrow?

I'm asking because your son would really benefit from the CORTICES technique! HOW much stress can a little one take .. I'm sure along with the four missed attempts that there was some "holding down" to keep him still.. this is very stressful for him and I'm sure there will be some fear for the next draw.

This technique I'm talking about can help to calm his brain and de-stress him, especially before they make any attempts to draw the blood. You can find this technique called CORTICES on my website www.amyfreundbodytalk.com Just select the tab that says Dr. John Veltheim teaches CORTICES.

Also.. you can use your "motherly love" which is GREAT energy.. and smooth over the areas where they are going to make the attempt to draw blood again which is probably over the antecubital area (bend in the inside elbow)... smooth with the palm of your hand in a downward brushing direction and hold the intention to calm the area and have the veins rise to the surface so that they are easily accessed. Believe me, this will help!

Tapping your sons CORITCES.. and yours... and then smoothing the energy over the area of the blood draw are two things you can do as a mom to facilitate ease in this situation as you are already worried about these values and the doctors wanting to investigate further. It sounds as if these traumatic draws may be contributing to what you are hoping is false readings.

Please let us know how your son does with the repeated tests ok? You also might want to consider doing your own blood test to be sure your hemoglobin levels are ok as well.

hugs,
A. R.N., Energy Medicine Practitioner

I don't recall at what age I safely started feeding my kids nuts and seeds, but here are my suggestions: Pumpkin seeds (yummy with a bit of salt) are very high in iron. My kids eat them like candy. You can buy them at Trader Joe's or most grocery stores. My kids have also loved cashews.

Black beans are my kids' favorite legume. Always serve with something high in Vitamin C like citrus or tomato. Try not to serve legumes or any high iron food within an hour or two of dairy. Dairy interferes with iron absorption, especially for non-meat sources of iron. So the cheese on the burrito is yummy, but it is interfering with the iron. Keep trying again and again if they don't eat beans or lentils at first.

Have you tried quinoa? It's easy to prepare and high in protein, and if I'm not mistaken, it's got a decent amount of iron for a grain. Mix it with lentils or beans, and add some sliced up orange or tomato and a light vinaigrette. Makes a great veggie dinner.

Serve oatmeal with dried apricots or raisins. Add chopped walnuts or almonds if he can eat them safely.

It will take some time to get his iron up to normal. I imagine supplements will be necessary. In the mean time, it sounds like you are focusing on his diet, which is great! Don't lose hope... he will get through this and so will you!

Try steak, liver, spinach, Kale, & vitamins with an iron supplement. When I was anemic in my third trimester of preganancy I took a liquid iron supplement called floradix and it got my iron level up in record time without any constipation (a possible side effect from taking pill form iron supplements). It is made from black cherry juice, vegetables, herbs. It is expensive but well worth it.

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