The Iron Requirement of Breastfeeding Infants
Frank R. Greer.
The recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the prevention of iron deficiency and iron deficiency
anemia recommended increased iron intake for breast fed infants beginning at 4 months of age. This recommendation
has not been without controversy. This paper will review the reasoning behind these new recommendations and include
a physiologic review of iron metabolism as well as its physiologic importance including its role in neurodevelopment.
It will review the diagnosis of both iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia and how to prevent them in the
breastfed infant. This includes introducing medicinal iron at 4 months of age and introducing foods that are rich in heme
iron (red meat) when complementary feedings are introduced.
Keywords: Infants, breastfeeding, iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, neuroedevelopment
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport