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#1 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That I am *slightly* anemic and I'm not taking Iron Supplements??? I do take the Rainbow Light Prenatal (once a day) and have increased my red meat to every other day at a minimum. I also follow the Brewer Diet. I am only slightly under what is considered normal and don't want to supplement unless it is REALLY necessary. I had a OB apt yesterday and she suggested I add 1 iron pill a day. What do you think? Is it really important for that baby that I take it? I am almost 35 weeks and have had low iron since my blood was checked at 12 weeks.

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#2 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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I wouldn't overly worry about it. If you decide to take supplemental iron, I would recommend Floradix over iron pills that have pretty poor absorption rates. Also increase your leafy greens as well as the red meat as you're doing. Have you been doing things to increase your iron since you were tested at 12 weeks? If so, and it still isn't going up, you may want to look at doing other things to bring it up as you certainly don't want to be anemic post-partum either.

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#3 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Im slightly anemic too and not taking anything for it, just being sure to get iron-rich foods added into my diet per my midwives recommendation. She said with my levels food should be more than enough to correct it.

http://www.healthcastle.com/iron.shtml has some good lists of foods that contain iron other than just red meat and what will help you absorb it...

in addition, avoid drinking milk within either half hour or an hour (i forget which! someone speak up on this?) of eating those foods because the calcium can actually lower the amount of iron your body absorbs!

So yeah, having a big glass of milk with your steak can actually completely negate the effects of the steak.

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#4 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
I wouldn't overly worry about it. If you decide to take supplemental iron, I would recommend Floradix over iron pills that have pretty poor absorption rates. Also increase your leafy greens as well as the red meat as you're doing. Have you been doing things to increase your iron since you were tested at 12 weeks? If so, and it still isn't going up, you may want to look at doing other things to bring it up as you certainly don't want to be anemic post-partum either.
I didn't know about my low-iron levels at 12 weeks because my midwife at the time was negligent and didn't think it was important to discuss. My OB is way more careful and brought it up at 24 weeks and then had me retested to see if my iron had gone any lower. It hadn't gone any lower, but didn't go up either. Since then I am making a conscience effort to eat more iron-rich foods. She hasn't tested me since.

I did know about the milk-meat combination. I found the health-castle website really helpful as to what you can add to boost your iron absorption like fruit.

What happens post-partum if I am still slightly anemic?

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#5 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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What happens post-partum if I am still slightly anemic?
Well one thing I know of for sure is you will be EXTREMELY exhausted... not just the normal new-mother exhaustion but like hardly able to stay awake for a couple hours exhausted.

And that may even lead to increased risk of postpartum depression.

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#6 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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A little anemia during pregnancy is normal because of an increased blood volume. However, taking Floradix won't hurt, and it might help.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-08-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I also recommend Floradix! Were your serum ferritin levels checked (iron stores)? This is more of a concern than just the regular hemoglobin tests. Technically I'm very 'slightly' anemic by regular blood tests, but my serum ferritin is severely depleted. This is much more concerning since my body doesn't have much to 'draw upon' if needed. But I am also very very very (did I say very?) tired. :P

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#8 of 16 Old 05-09-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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You can also take a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses every day - that helps to build iron levels.

Due Nov 2010 with baby #3
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#9 of 16 Old 05-09-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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The big problem, other than exhaustion for you after pregnancy, is that your baby will have low iron stores. This can lead to stunted growth in your baby, since your breast milk will also be lower than normal in iron. You might have to supplement your baby sooner than 'most' babies, and really focus on the heme iron sources in meat.

Ami

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#10 of 16 Old 05-09-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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I am anemic too, and 30 weeks with twins, I do not take anything extra for it. I tried, they put me on an extra iron pill and it made me sick so I stopped.

I think your ok!

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
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#11 of 16 Old 05-09-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post
Im slightly anemic too and not taking anything for it, just being sure to get iron-rich foods added into my diet per my midwives recommendation. She said with my levels food should be more than enough to correct it.

http://www.healthcastle.com/iron.shtml has some good lists of foods that contain iron other than just red meat and what will help you absorb it...

in addition, avoid drinking milk within either half hour or an hour (i forget which! someone speak up on this?) of eating those foods because the calcium can actually lower the amount of iron your body absorbs!

So yeah, having a big glass of milk with your steak can actually completely negate the effects of the steak.
That is absolutely right. Calcium interferes with absorption of iron. I take New Chapter Perfect which has very little calcium but ok levels of iron and I always make sure my yogurt is consumed with atleast 1/2 an hour between the two- this is quite annoying to manage sometimes!
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#12 of 16 Old 05-09-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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hmmm From what I remember can't low iron/anemia affect breast milk production as well?
Take any calcium sups/multis at a time you are not eating your iron rich food it does affect absorbtion. Plus anemia/low iron makes you tierd and makes your body work harder making you MORE tierd....if like me you end up bleeding along time after birth it affects you even more. I found these descriptions VERY intresting....
Anemia is the reduction in either the number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin (iron containing portion) of the red blood cells. This results in a decrease in the amount of oxygen available to the cells of the body. As a result, they have less energy available to perform their normal functions. Important process such as muscular activity and cell building and repair slow down and become less efficient. Iron deficiency can lead to impaired delivery of oxygen to the tissues, to anemia, impaired immune function, decreased energy levels, and to decreased physical performance.
Assessment of Anemic Breastfeeding Mother
A thorough assessment of possible anemia is an important breastfeeding history tool for all lactation consultants to incorporate.. Many of the breastfeeding problems that bring a lactating woman to the lactation consultant’s office or her physician’s office are related to iron-deficiency anemia -- sore nipples, exhaustion, plugged ducts, low milk supply, thrush, all these breastfeeding challenges can occur if a lactating mother is experiencing anemia.
A thorough health history and a complete physical examination are an essential component of the evaluation of the anemic woman. The purpose of the history and physical exam is to: 1) Determine whether there are signs and symptoms of anemia, 2) determine if the anemia is affecting the woman’s current health status, 3) refer the woman to her health care provider to determine whether signs and symptoms of possible medical disorders may be causing the anemia, and 4) to determine if there are familial, environmental dietary or medical disorders that may be the cause of the anemia.

Suggested questions to include in the breastfeeding history intake questionnaire to determine iron-deficiency anemia and its cause should include:

•Determine average daily iron intake
•Determine are there dietary practices that may decrease iron absorption
•Is excessive blood loss a possible cause of iron deficiency?
•Gastrointestinal disorders causing blood loss? Intestinal parasites?
It is best to have a complete blood test to determine if you have an iron deficiency before taking iron supplements. Excess iron can damage the liver, heart, pancreas and immune cell activity, and has been linked to cancer. Iron supplements are to be used only under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.

Inorganic iron supplements are coming under sever attack as the potential cause of many health problems. Nutritional research journals are showing interesting facts and studies about the side effects of iron tablets. Not only can excess iron accumulate in the body to toxic levels, it may also interfere with immunity and promote cancer. Iron is an important mineral for pregnancy and lactation, the question is only how much iron and in what form


http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/article-anemia.aspx
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#13 of 16 Old 05-10-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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Well I'll go against the norm a bit - I was extremly anemic and it didn't cause me to be overly tired. It did take a slight toll on my 3rd child as she was anemic (the first two were not even though I was through pregnancy). I was able to supplement with vitamins from whole foods and got her iron back up by 1 year old.
I had tried everything - yes floridix too and it didn't help but continued to go down. I took double dose of most supplements (as directed) and tested after a month on said supplement. Then changed to a new supplement when that one didn't work. This went on for 4 or 5 months until finally one worked - was able to get it up to just around 9 (12 being optimal) before giving birth. Oh and I ate greens every day with oranges and avoided dairy. I've included lots more dark beans as well (vegetarian).
I never felt tired or had any symptoms really - this is my first 'not anemic' pregnancy and I don't feel any different. So I would say not to stress too much about it but that is just my experience.

Oh and side note on breastfeeding - I was able to feed two babies (for a full year exclusive) after being anemic and donated breast milk after the other pregnancies due to over production.
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#14 of 16 Old 05-10-2010, 04:02 AM
 
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Always take Vitamin C or something acidic with your iron-rich foods as it helps with absorption. And I agree with Floradix if you go the supplement route...it's not that bad, and although I had to go on double doses of it, it helped my anemia without making me sick and constipated. I was pretty significantly anemic though, not just a little.

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#15 of 16 Old 05-10-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Cut out black tea also. I did that and feel much better since. My energy levels have gone back up and I feel I am not forcing myself each day.
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#16 of 16 Old 05-10-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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When you're found to be anemic in late pregnancy, there is apparently very little you can do to boost your iron level by the time you deliver. My CNM told me this during my first pregnancy, but she gave me supplements anyway, and my 28 week and immediate postpartum PCV level was exactly the same, just like she said. I was only borderline, just like you. This time by 27 wk test also showed me slightly anemic (about the same as last time), but she told me I'm fine and don't need to supplement. I'm not sure if that's because the threshhold has changed, or because she knows that there is no point in supplementing. I bought some Floradix anyway, but I keep forgetting to take it.

After my last birth, I bled a lot (and for over 4 weeks), and I was a bit shaky for a few days, but after that, I don't think my exhaustion was any worse than your average new mother.

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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