Could iron-based formula be making my baby sick?
Susan Sorensen pediatrician
No. All formula-fed babies need iron-fortified formula from day one. Iron is essential for your baby's health. Iron deficiency can cause significant problems in overall development and has been linked with lower intelligence in school-aged children. Despite what you may have heard, iron doesn't cause constipation or any other kind of stomach upset. Several studies have shown that iron is not responsible for constipation, colic, diarrhea, flatulence, or reflux in babies. This misconception about iron often begins in pregnancy. Many moms believe that their iron-fortified prenatal vitamin is at the root of their own constipation, when in fact it's the hormones associated with pregnancy that are really to blame.
Iron is so important that even breastfed babies need a supplement starting at 6 months of age, which they can get from fortified cereals. Healthy, full-term babies have adequate iron stores to see them through the first six months when combined with what they get from their mother's milk.
If your baby is suffering from gastric symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, don't switch formulas without first consulting with a doctor.
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