Safety in Lactation: Parenteral iron

Sarah Fenner, Acting Co-Director, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (Midlands site) & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory ServicePublished

Maternal iron supplementation for iron deficiency anaemia presents no risk to the breastfed infant as maternal iron is transported very poorly into breast milk.
Although iron products are associated with an increased risk of hypersensitivity reactions when administered intravenously, they are unlikely to pose a risk to the breastfed infant as passage into breast milk and subsequent oral absorption of these large molecules is unlikely. However, it is advisable to use oral iron preparations while breastfeeding if possible.
Iron deficiency in infants, requiring iron supplementation, normally only occurs in preterm infants and those over 4 months old.