In order for hemoglobin (carries oxygen) to be properly produced, iron is needed. When there is not enough iron, a patient’s ability to carry oxygen goes down. Thus, when a newborn/infant is not receiving enough iron, development is slowed down. While the fetus is still inside the womb, all the iron the fetus needs is derived from the mother. However, once the baby is born, the iron is slowly used up. In a normal, 40-week gestation newborn, this iron storage usually takes about 5-6 months to be completely depleted (this number changes to 2-3 months in a pre-term baby or in multiples).
FORMULA FEEDERS 🍼
- It is recommended to parents that newborns/infants being formula fed be given iron-fortified formula milk
BREASTFED NEWBORNS/INFANTS 🍼
- It is recommended to parents that newborns/infants be given iron drops after 5-6 months if born at term, and after 2-3 months if born pre-term or in multiples
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