Delayed cord clamping and iron

How, when and why to introduce foods other than breastmilk
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Delayed cord clamping and iron

Post by Vitta » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:52 pm

I'm seeking the wisdom of the forum for research that discusses iron levels in infants and delayed umbilical cord clamping at birth. I have read cited many times that infant iron stores tend to steadily taper off after about 6 months of having breast milk exclusively, but this assumes that the infant had immediate umbilical cord clamping at birth. Hence the importance of giving infants iron rich foods like red meat, etc when introducing solids. All the research that I've come across regarding delayed cord clamping indicates that infants tend to have higher levels of iron because more blood transferred across to them when they were born. So the question is, does when, i.e. immediate vs delayed, umbilical cord clamping occur at birth affect when iron stores taper off?
Last edited by Vitta on Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Delayed cord clamping and iron

Post by PellyintheWilderness » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:47 pm

I'd actually argue that what usually happens in our birthing culture is premature cord clamping, leading to abnormally low iron stores in infants. Unless the mother is haemorrhaging, there is no reason to clamp the cord and deliver the placenta as quickly as possible. It's a darn sight quicker and more convenient for the hospital, though.
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Re: Delayed cord clamping and iron

Post by strolltotheshops » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:49 pm

Interesting question. I think I recall that my notes from the birthing calmly course linked to research about delayed cord clamping. I'll see if, in the next day or so, I can find it.

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Re: Delayed cord clamping and iron

Post by Ronale » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:09 pm

There was a really interesting presentation on iron and breastfeeding at liquid gold, and the presenter works at head office. I'm pretty sure she touched on this point, but can't remember what was said. I'm sure she would be able to discuss the research with you though, but I'm not sure on the protocol of contacting her. I can find out though if you want? And pm you with the info later in the week?
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Re: Delayed cord clamping and iron

Post by Nedsmum » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:48 am

Either way, you can't predict when the iron stores might run out. It depends on factors like whether the baby was born early or late, the availability of iron in the mother, the baby's ability to store the iron, whether they have any illnesses and their diet. (Breastmilk or otherwise).

On average, a baby with delayed cord clamping might have more iron than another baby whose cord was clamped prematurely... But for your own baby, the only way to know is to test the blood.

In my experience working with small children, iron deficiency comes up as an issue around 2 years, probably coinciding with gradual loss plus weaning off fortified foods plus becoming picky eaters, plus rapid growth...

I would never recommend supplementing a child without going to the GP or Paediatrician and getting a blood test and professional advice.
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