Anemic Baby

Anemic Baby – What is anemia?

A baby who has anemia:

* Has a pale appearance

* May have difficulty feeding and get tired while nursing

* May be tired or lethargic

* May have a fast heart beat and breath fast even while resting

* An anemic baby does not have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to the body.

What causes anemia?

Blood loss - baby may have lost blood at birth. Blood from the baby can flow into the placenta at the time of birth or directly into the mother’s blood stream.

Iron deficiency or lack of iron - Breastfeed babies usually receive the iron that they need from their mother’s milk until they begin to eat solid foods.

Premature birth - Premature babies often suffer from anemia because not only do they start out with fewer red blood cells, they are also subjected to frequent blood tests which lead to blood loss.

Human breast milk is the richest iron milk source

Iron Source

Percentage of Iron Absorbed

breastmilk 50 - 70%
iron-fortified cow milk formula 3 - 12%
iron-fortified soy formula
less than 1% - 7%
iron-fortified cereals 4 - 10%
cow's milk 10%


The most healthy and natural way for an infant to receive iron is from his mother’s milk. Healthy, full-term babies are born with enough iron stored in their livers to last up to the first six months of life. Latest research studies shows that an infant's iron stores should last between six months to a year. A breastfed newborn will usually get the iron that he needs from frequent breastfeeding. When a child is mature enough and ready to eat solid foods it is important to prepare foods that are naturally rich in iron and other nutrients and make sure your baby has a balanced healthy diet.

Anemic baby – preventing anemia