The Importance of Iron

Iron is essential for the development of a healthy central nervous system, among other functions. Formula-fed infants should use iron-fortified formulas, and older babies may need extra iron to have enough. Breast milk, however, supplies enough iron for a baby until she triples her birth weight.

Human milk contains an iron-binding protein that helps baby absorb the normal amounts of iron that are in the milk. This process may be disrupted, however, when an outside source of iron is given.

Talk to your pediatrician to be sure your baby is getting the iron she needs through breast milk, formula or infant iron drops. Extra iron may be especially important if your baby was premature.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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