Why Might Your Baby Need Iron?
Until they’re four to six months old, most infants have enough iron stores to sustain them. Iron is an essential component in the blood. It transports oxygen to other parts of the body, helping major organs get the nutrients that they need.
Research shows that healthy, full-term breastfed babies should have enough iron stores to last them six months. Breastmilk doesn’t contain as much iron as formula does, though. Therefore, most doctors recommend that parents give their infants iron supplements at that age.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should be screened for anemia, or low iron levels, between 9 and 12 years of age. If levels are low or a child is at risk of being anemic, screenings may continue for a few years.
Some babies are more likely to have iron deficiencies. These include:
- Infants that were born before 37 weeks
- Babies that weighed less than 6.5 pounds at birth
- Little ones whose mothers have poorly controlled diabetes
- Babies that are given cow’s milk instead of breastmilk or formula in the first year
How Much Iron Is Absorbed?
Formula and infant cereals are typically fortified with iron. Therefore, some experts believe that infants that drink formula are less likely to be anemic than those who breastfeed exclusively. But infants that consume only breastmilk for the first six to nine months of their lives generally retain normal iron levels.
Solid foods may interfere with iron stores, though. In one study, infants that were breastfed and given solid foods before seven months had lower iron levels than those who consumed only breastmilk.
The iron from breastmilk is absorbed more readily than the iron in formula. A baby absorbs approximately 50 to 70 percent of the iron in breastmilk but only 3 to 12 percent of the iron in formula.
Should All Babies Receive Iron Supplements?
Some parents wonder whether they should give their child a supplement such as Floravital without a hemoglobin test. That might not be the best idea for breastfed babies. The proteins in breastmilk bind to the iron in the digestive tract and stop detrimental bacteria from proliferating. Taking a supplement interferes with this protective measure.
However, if your infant is already drinking formula or eating iron-fortified foods, such as cereal, this shouldn’t be a problem. Still, that child might not need an iron supplement at all.
Who Else Can Take Floravital?
Iron supplements aren’t just for babies. Anyone can develop anemia throughout their life.
Toddlers may be at risk of an iron deficiency because they are often picky eaters. They may not consume foods that are high in iron, such as winter squash, sweet potatoes, greens, meat and egg yolks. Plus, because toddlers are growing so quickly, they may need additional iron.
Once children begin to drink cow’s milk, their iron levels may drop off. Cow’s milk isn’t fortified with as much iron as formula is. If kids don’t get iron from their foods, they may require a supplement.
Even adults can be anemic. Some signs of anemia in adults include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Cold extremities
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sore tongue
- Brittle nails
What Are the Benefits of Floravital?
Floravital is a liquid iron and vitamin formula that is easy for babies, toddlers or adults to take. The iron is derived from ferrous gluconate, which is highly absorbable. It also contains several B vitamins, which impact your energy levels and keep your body healthy.
The human body absorbs iron best when the mineral is combined with vitamin C. Floravital contains vitamin C to maximize absorption.
The vitamins and minerals in this product are already dissolved. They’re readily available to the body and aren’t as taxing on the digestive system as tablets or capsules.
Floravital is particularly beneficial for people who are concerned about healthy living. It doesn’t contain:
- Artificial colorings or flavors
- Animal products
Floravital is ideal for vegans and vegetarians, who may not consume enough iron because they don’t eat meat. It is combined with fruit juices for a pleasant flavor.
Ask your pediatrician if this product is appropriate for your child. The doctor can give you dosing and administration instructions. Many parents mix the liquid with food and give it to their children with a spoon. You may also be able to combine it with formula and administer it via a medicine syringe.
You can ensure that your child is getting enough iron by feeding them a high-quality formula and baby food. A well-rounded diet should deliver all of your infant or toddler’s essential nutrients. However, if you suspect that iron levels are low, you can always get them checked out and use Floravital as an effective, natural supplement.