I need to get my iron up ASAP! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm 38 weeks and just found out that my iron is low. My hemoglobin is 9.7. It needs to be at least 11.2 and preferably over 12. My hematocrit is 30.2 and needs to be at least 34 and preferably over 35. I hemorrhaged with DS and lost over 4 pints of blood, so I'm pretty concerned.

 

I've been taking my iron supplements (mostly) but apparently with foods containing calcium. :-(

 

I'm having DH pick me up some Floradix(sp?) and a cast iron skillet, plus the following food items, a combination of foods high in iron and high in Vitamin C: 

 

OJ with NO calcium

Prune Juice

Raisins

Bag of Oranges

Prunes

3 bags of baby spinach

A good amount of sweet potatoes 

Watermelon

 

I also plan to eat lots of beans, lentils & molasses.

 

Now, I don't know when I can expect to go into labor, so I need to act fast and work hard to get my iron up. Does anyone have knowledge or advice in this area?

 

So many thanks!

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#2 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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I found out I had low-ish iron levels at my last mw appointment as well, so I've been working on trying to increase them. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, just keep it up and I bet you'll see an improvement soon!

 

 


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#3 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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I'm guessing you don't eat meat then?

Egg yolks are good, and apparently artichokes.


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#4 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Tina! I hope you get your levels up, too.

 

Becky, I don't eat meat and I don't like to eat eggs, but this is certainly a time I can make an exception and eat eggs, at least.  I'm thinking of boiling a ton of them and snacking on them. Thanks!

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#5 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Cream of Wheat actually has a lot of iron in it.  Sometimes I eat it with molasses too!


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#6 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Oh we have a whole thread!!!

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1312754/who-wants-to-raise-their-hemoglobin-improve-their-diet-with-me

 

Those food options are awesome.  I say with the Floradix, take a double dose.  I take 20 ml 2x a day.  I try to chase it with OJ (takes the funk taste away and it's got the vitamin C) and take it between meals and not right before or after my prenatal.


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#7 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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I recommend that you cook the spinach otherwise it can be high in calcium.  I had to avoid calcium for a while because it slowed my thyroid. 


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#8 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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Cut out as much dairy as possible. And eggs are tricky as they can also hinder iron absorption. As far as I know egg yolks are good, egg whites not good, so you don't want to eat the whites.

 

My MW has me on the Floradix 3 times a day. I also chase it down with 100% juice (usually black grape for me) and don't take it within an hour of anything with any kind of calcium.

 

My previous MW did say that although I have a low hemoglobin (long term anemic rather than just during pregnancy) that isn't as important as the platelet count, as the platelets are what effects your ability to stop bleeding.

 

Sounds like you are doing everything you can for this so try not to stress about it too much.

 

My last hemoglobin count was 10.4 and I'm waiting on results from a blood draw last week to find out if its gone back up or dropped again. After DS mine got all the way down to 7, and I was told at the hospital if it dropped by just 0.1 they would have to give me a blood transfusion. I've had them before because of my anemia so I wasn't too upset, but fortunately it started going back up on its own, so the transfusion never happened.

 

There are lots of ideas in the thread Carrie linked to, and I think a few people tried liquid cholorphyll which is a form of alfalfa, and from what I've read alfalfa is really good for increasing blood counts.


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#9 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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Adding liquid chlorophyll to your water daily helps too. Alfalfa tablets are really good as well (and contain vitamin k, which is good to prevent hemorrhage too).


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#10 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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sounds like a lot of very useful info has been listed already, the only two i would add are:

red lentils are supposed to be really good, not sure how fast it will yield results.

Also, l would look into malt extract - not very common in US but my mother had me taking it as a child for my iron levels.

 

hope it all works out  for you very soon

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#11 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I had no idea how serious this could be.  At my checkup a few weeks ago mine was at 10.8.  I had no idea that the three things I drank other than water was what was reducing my iron absorption!!  Crazy!  No more chocolate milk for me lol.


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#12 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaika View Post

Cream of Wheat actually has a lot of iron in it.  Sometimes I eat it with molasses too!


Awesome information! I actually have a couple boxes of that sitting around! Thanks for the info! This will be my daily breakfast!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

Oh we have a whole thread!!!

SUBMIT

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1312754/who-wants-to-raise-their-hemoglobin-improve-their-diet-with-me

 

Those food options are awesome.  I say with the Floradix, take a double dose.  I take 20 ml 2x a day.  I try to chase it with OJ (takes the funk taste away and it's got the vitamin C) and take it between meals and not right before or after my prenatal.


Since I'm so close to the end, I think I'll take a double dose 3 times a day. Does that sound okay? I need to up my numbers fast...

 

Also, the OJ DH got didn't specify that it was Calcium fortified, but when I checked the label, it said it has 2% calcium. Is this something I should be concerned about? It also says that it's 100% juice. headscratch.gif

 



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Originally Posted by HawaiianBlesing View Post

I recommend that you cook the spinach otherwise it can be high in calcium.  I had to avoid calcium for a while because it slowed my thyroid. 


Thanks! The nurse I spoke with didn't mention cooking it. She actually told me to eat a lot of spinach salads and such. I just came across this:

 

As you can see, the health benefits of spinach are numerous. The vitamins and calcium in spinach, combined with the overall nutritional value of spinach, make this vegetable and its dark leafy green cousins top picks for healthy food choices. http://www.cookingnook.com/health-benefits-of-spinach.html

 

I would never have thought of that. Very interesting! Good thing I like spinach in the cooked form, too.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

Cut out as much dairy as possible. And eggs are tricky as they can also hinder iron absorption. As far as I know egg yolks are good, egg whites not good, so you don't want to eat the whites.

 

My MW has me on the Floradix 3 times a day. I also chase it down with 100% juice (usually black grape for me) and don't take it within an hour of anything with any kind of calcium.

 

My previous MW did say that although I have a low hemoglobin (long term anemic rather than just during pregnancy) that isn't as important as the platelet count, as the platelets are what effects your ability to stop bleeding.

 

Sounds like you are doing everything you can for this so try not to stress about it too much.

 

My last hemoglobin count was 10.4 and I'm waiting on results from a blood draw last week to find out if its gone back up or dropped again. After DS mine got all the way down to 7, and I was told at the hospital if it dropped by just 0.1 they would have to give me a blood transfusion. I've had them before because of my anemia so I wasn't too upset, but fortunately it started going back up on its own, so the transfusion never happened.

 

There are lots of ideas in the thread Carrie linked to, and I think a few people tried liquid cholorphyll which is a form of alfalfa, and from what I've read alfalfa is really good for increasing blood counts.


I got my information from the nurse who said the doctor hadn't reviewed my results yet.When I speak with the doctor or midwife, I'll be sure to ask about platelets and such.

 

I actually had to have a blood transfusion after having DS. I lost over 4 pints of blood and they gave me 2 pints in the transfusion. I wonder if I should have them order blood for me as a precaution? I don't know if they'd do that. I'm just nervous.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyJennifer View Post

Adding liquid chlorophyll to your water daily helps too. Alfalfa tablets are really good as well (and contain vitamin k, which is good to prevent hemorrhage too).


I'll look into the liquid chlorophyll. Thanks for the info on Alfalfa tablets, especially regarding Vitamin K and how it helps to prevent hemorrhage.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by elove View Post

 

sounds like a lot of very useful info has been listed already, the only two i would add are:

red lentils are supposed to be really good, not sure how fast it will yield results.

Also, l would look into malt extract - not very common in US but my mother had me taking it as a child for my iron levels.

 

hope it all works out  for you very soon

 

 

 

 

 

I have red lentils. I'll look into malt extract, as well. Thanks so much!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayame87 View Post

I had no idea how serious this could be.  At my checkup a few weeks ago mine was at 10.8.  I had no idea that the three things I drank other than water was what was reducing my iron absorption!!  Crazy!  No more chocolate milk for me lol.

Good luck on getting yours up, too.

 

Thanks to everyone for helping me by providing me with knowledge, so that I feel I can do something to raise my levels. It's much a powerless feeling, especially at 38 weeks, but I know there are some actions I can take. Come to tink of it, when my levels were low with DS, I raised them in a matter of weeks. It was more than 2 weeks, but all I did was take the supplement and I didn't put forth nearly the effort I'll be putting forth now.
 

 

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#13 of 15 Old 08-01-2011, 10:56 PM
 
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Yellowdock is high in iron as well.  I didn't see it mentioned but I was scanning.  You can buy the tincture in health food stores, or you can buy the dried roots and make a cordial.  I found this recipe elsewhere on MDC, it is not my own, but it's easy to make and very straight forward (you can get the herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs, if you can't get them locally):

 

Iron Cordial:

1 oz yellow dock root
1 oz dandelion root
2 cups water

Bring to boil. Lower immediately to barely a simmer. Keep it at that heat for 30 minutes. When it's cool enough to squeeze out the root material with your hands, then strain, squeeze any liquid you can out of the roots. Return to the pot on low heat (again barely a simmer) and reduce to 1 cup of liquid. Then mix in 1 cup blackstrap molasses.  Take 2 Tbsp morning and evening.  Add a few tablespoons of brandy to the cooled mixture if you like orngbiggrin.gif

 

Also, when cooking in the cast iron, cooking acidic foods will help to maximize the iron leeched from the pan.  It will kind of "ruin" the pan, but that's because it's stripping the iron away.  For example, cooking a tomato sauce in cast iron will leech more iron into the food than say, frying an egg, or sauteing some veggies.

 

 


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#14 of 15 Old 08-02-2011, 12:09 AM
 
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I think a double dose of Floradix (so 2 x 20 ml) 3 times a day sounds like a great plan. That will give you 90 mg of ferrous gluconate spread across the day, which I would think is probably optimal for iron absorption! Floradix also has some vit C in it, so don't worry if you don't take it with other vit C every time.

 

What I also started doing is taking folic acid with my Floradix. Fdx has B12 and B6, which are important for blood building, but no folic acid, which is also important for hemoglobin production. Actually drinking orange juice with Fdx would give you both vit C and folic acid.

 

In addition to/instead of alfalfa you could consider nettles, either in tablets or as an infusion (which is what I've been doing - I suspect it's easier absorbed in liquid form). Whole Foods has nettles in bulk, and I would bet other health food stores do too. It also has a ton of chlorophyll, vit K, and B vitamins as well as iron.

 

Italiamom is right that cooking tomato sauce in a cast iron pan will strip the seasoning. But we do it all the time and it doesn't seem to have made the pan any more "sticky" so I think it's mostly about how it looks.

 

As for the 2% calcium in the OJ, I bet it's just residual. That's a seriously small amount of calcium and I wouldn't worry about it affecting iron absorption.


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#15 of 15 Old 08-02-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

Yellowdock is high in iron as well.  I didn't see it mentioned but I was scanning. 



Yup - been taking this since my first blood draw came back with low platelets. FWIW, it didn't make a difference for the retest as my platelets actually dropped from the time before, but for the final test my platelets were WAYYYY up.


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