Lack of iron may make a person feel tired and weak.
His skin may look lighter than normal.
Or he may have trouble breathing.
Lack of iron damages a person’s immune system.
This is the system inside a person’s body that protects him from sickness.
Lack of iron can affect the brain too.
A child who lacks iron in his diet may not have a correctly developed brain.
The effects can influence a child through his whole life.
Anaemia in children and babies is a cause for concern.
And often treatment can cost a lot of money.
It can require special vitamins or medicines, or even surgery on the baby.
But treatment for anaemia can begin even at the baby’s birth.
There may be a way for a newborn baby to avoid becoming anaemic.
It is low cost.
And it is very easy.
In fact, it is as simple as waiting two minutes.
During pregnancy, a mother’s body provides everything a new baby will need.
Her blood contains the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, or healthy substances, for her baby.
The baby receives these substances through a temporary organ called the placenta.
The placenta surrounds the forming baby.
It connects to the wall of the mother’s uterus.
The baby and mother are separated by a very thin membrane - a wall of particular cells.
This membrane has very small holes in it.
The holes let the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients through to the placenta.
These nutrients are the baby’s food.