Iron is an important nutrient for babies – it plays a role in carrying oxygen in the blood, and is important for absorption of some other nutrients including B vitamins, calcium and copper. Iron plays a role in healthy brain development and maintaining the immune system.
One of the most effective ways of improving new born babies iron stores is the practice of delayed cord clamping. In delayed cord clamping the umbilical cord is not cut until it ceases pulsing 2-3 minutes after birth. This allows the transfer of extra blood to pass from the placenta to the newborn.
At around 6 months of age a baby’s iron stores that were laid down during pregnancy start to decline and a baby’s needs for iron are no longer met by breast feeding or formula alone. When you start solid foods, include iron rich foods such as fortified baby cereals, egg yolk and red meat in your baby’s diet regularly.