Midwife rant and iron question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-23-2003, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Can I just rant for a minute. I'm pretty pissed at my midwife I had previously posted that I felt like I'd been hit by a truck--completely worn down and exhausted, I mean REALLY feeling like sh*t! So I mentioned to my midwife yesterday that I wanted her to do a blood test to find out if I was anemic. She said, "Let me look at your chart, Oh yeah, when we ran test at 28 wks. you were severely anemic, and I bet it's much worse by now. I even have a sticky note on this page to remind me to write you a prescription, but I guess I forgot."
WTF!! I can't do anything because I feel so bad, because she FORGOT!! She didn't even appologize about it. Is my baby in danger of something being wrong with it, because I haven't had enough iron? Now I'm worried. Does anyone know if there is a risk of something?:
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#2 of 16 Old 01-23-2003, 11:52 AM
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I was anemic (guess I still am!) but the risks are to yourself and not to the baby if that makes you feel any better for a moment.

That babe will suck whatever iron sources out of you it can find, and it can find them, trust me, but you need to get some iron hopping in your bod real soon.

I had to experiment with the types of iron. Here's some TMI for you; one type had something in it that made my butt itch three times as bad as any yeast infection I've ever had. The MW misdiagnosed it as a yeast infection that only affected that particular area. But it was a reaction to the iron. Imagine a 30 week pregnant woman walking around scratching her ass all day. And in her sleep. Sigh.

Good luck, everything's fine.
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#3 of 16 Old 01-23-2003, 12:27 PM
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First, I hope you don't mind me saying that your midwife's slip up is upsetting! I mean, sheesh! She really should have been on the ball with this. I'd recommend that you talk to her and let her know your feelings. This is the person you are trusting to help you and your baby, you need to be able to depend on her.

Second, I wanted to recommend Floradix iron. It's in a fruit juice base so it tastes good/okay. I've never known anyone to have constipation problems with this supplement either. Here's the website. http://www.florahealth.com/flora/hom...cts/R64771.asp

I hope you are feeling better soon!

Take care.
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#4 of 16 Old 01-23-2003, 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by SarahGuinn
"...one type had something in it that made my butt itch..."
My iron level was determined to be 11.7 and anything under 11 you are supposed to need a supplement. One of the midwives at the birth center prescribed iron whereas the other said it was not necessary (I found the latter out later)

The iron I was prescribed was "Ferrous Sulfate 325mg Tab EC (IVAX)". They look like those cinnamon red hots candy except they are slightly larger, no writing on them. I think it was $7.99 for 100. I filled my Rx at Eckerds.

Even though I did not have constipation within 3 days I thought I was getting some itchy rhoids! I discontinued the iron and my problem went away. I think between the prenatal tablet I took plus the iron pill I was getting too much iron.

OP: If you are tired you may have anemia which is insufficient red blood cells and iron supplements may help this although the side effects may be irritated stomach, constipation, and diarrhea! The baby builds up stores of iron for after birth and you need iron to
carry oxygen in your blood.

I second the Floradix recommendation!
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#5 of 16 Old 01-23-2003, 02:04 PM
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In Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin recommends alfalfa supplements for anemia. Better to take the dried stuff in capsules because the sprouts carry the risk of food poisoning, unfortunately. Probably one reason why alfalfa has a good rep for this is that it is high in vitamin C, and apparently vitamin C assists in the absorbtion of iron. Another good iron source is nettles, which are another herb you can get in capsules.

Some folks recommend taking your iron with a vitamin C supplement and NOT taking it at the same time as you take a calcium supplement. I found that it was too hard to remember to take both if I spaced them out. Hope I got enough calcium...

I took an iron supplement from the health food store, Solaray Iron Asporotate. I found that unlike the drug store iron that I took when I was recovering from a big car accident, the Solaray stuff didn't make me sick. It has some herbs--yellow dock and parsley-- in it that are supposed to aid iron absorbtion, so that might be why I didn't get constipated or nauseated from it. It is not for vegans because it contains "delactosed whey"--I am lactose intolerant and it didn't make me sick.

A little-known bad thing about anemia: even though usually it's okay to drink a small amount of caffeinated beverages in pregnancy, they do inhibit the absorbtion of iron. I love to drink black tea, but it is a big no-no if you are battling anemia. Boo. On the other hand, raisins and other dried fruits are good sources of dietary iron, and can be helpful if your iron supplement is binding.

Hope you are feeling better and in the pink soon!

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-24-2003, 04:13 PM
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SarahGuinn...I'm sorry to laugh at your pain but OMG, that was a great visual. Thank you.

gaiamom...I'd be soooo angry. But I think baby takes what it needs from you first. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the prenatals were to make up for what baby takes from mom...not for baby directly. Right?

It's just upsetting because how much better could you be feeling for the last part of your pregnancy had she not forgotten?!
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#7 of 16 Old 01-24-2003, 04:40 PM
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Let's not forget about dietary sources of iron. If you eat meat, that can help, particularly liver. So can cooking in cast iron pans. Try this link for iron levels in various foods and a discussion of iron absorbtion from different sources.
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#8 of 16 Old 01-24-2003, 04:51 PM
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I think the cast iron pan thing has to be acidic foods cooked in a cast iron pan, like tomato sauce for example...

I was told to add a little toasted wheat germ to my usual diet. Anyone else heard that one? It is easy at least

And I definetly second (or third, or tenth at this point) talking to your midwife about your dissapointment. I can't imagine heading into labor with something like this between my midwife and I.

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#9 of 16 Old 01-24-2003, 08:45 PM
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It's my new drug .

Seriously, my hematocrit dropped through the floor at 20+ weeks. I too those damn iron pills which made my stomach burn and I got constipation. My husban'd uncle is a gastroenterologist and he told me that the typical iron pills contain THREE times the iron the body can absorb with that dose, so where does it go? It binds you up.

I don't know what kind of magic the Floradix folks use, but the stuff upped my hematocrit from 28 to 38 in a MONTH--the iron pills upped it only 1 point in a month! Granted, Floradix is $32 for a month's supply (gulp!) but my MW told me that in Spanish/Hispanic grocery stores you can find something called "Extracto de Malta" which is the same thing and costs about $15 for a month's supply.

DS2 is 9 months and I'm still taking Floradix. I always take it with a vitamin c or a glass of orange juice--C aids iron absorption. Don't take it within an hour of consuming caffeine.

Good luck,

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#10 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 12:25 AM
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I agree-- Floradix!!! It saved my tired soul. I couldn't stomach the liquid, but they make capsules which brought my crit right up.
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#11 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 11:33 AM
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Spirulina (a type of algae) has an immense amount of iron... something like 5mg per teaspoon and it's supposed to be very absorbable. There's lots of info on the web, just put 'spirulina iron' into a search engine. I just mix it into my nettle infusion or juice or better yet, vitamin C drink.

edited to add this link: http://www.spirulinasource.com/library-iron.html which claims that the iron in spirulina is as bioavailable as ferrous sulphate supplements.
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#12 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 01:58 PM
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glad to see Floradix recommended so much here. I take a blackstrap pill I got at a health food store a LONG way from here Iron really constipates, and I tend to have that problem enough NOT pregnant, so I am really happy to find a pill that has so much natural iron in it.

Rebecca due Feb 7th

wife since 1992; mom to: J 7-95; H 5-98; C 2-03; S 4-05; Micah Zachary born still UC 4-08; UM 9-08; due June 2010
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#13 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 03:13 PM
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Yep, Florifix is the one to go for. My midwife was the one to recommend it to me. It even tastes quite nice. I bought mine at the health food store Henry's Marketplace.

:SaHM to 3 *DD* DD2 * DS
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#14 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 03:31 PM
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With my first pregnancy my mw found my iron low so she suggested I take liquid Chlorophyll. You can get it in mint flavor or plain .

Worked pretty fast on raising my levels.
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#15 of 16 Old 01-25-2003, 03:40 PM
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sorry to hear you are feeling so bad. how many weeks are you now?

I agree, that wasn't a good thing to forget about on your midwife's part. is she in a busy practice? I have had my own issues with an overworked midwife who did not have my best interests at heart, not because she was insensitive, but because she (and the rest of the practice) was doing way too much. I think that would be a good thing to bring up with her in your next appt., to avoid carrying that feeling, that she wasn't giving concientious care, into your birth experience. I think it's very important to feel that you can trust your midwife to care for, and about you.

I had an anemia "scare" a few weeks ago, with the overzealous CNM that backs up my back up dr. (long story..) my HB midwife was not concerned, and neither was I once I did some reading. found out that most women have a signifigant drop in H/H at about 28-30 weeks, this is described in many midwifery books and some ob texts as "physiological" anemia. the reason being that your blood volume increases 50% at this time. there are differing beliefs as to what consistutes anemia, some say a reading below 11, some say below 10. also - latina women have consistently lower normal levels than other groups.

floriadix, nettles and yellow dock and alfalfa (that's what I'm taking as a tincture 3 times daily), blackstrap molasses, kale and spinach and drk green lettuce, cooking in cast iron are all good suggestions to bring it up if it really is anemia, or borderline. I have also heard that ferrous sulfate iron pills (the traditional prescription solution) are notorious for causing constipation, and not being very absorbable. maybe something to discuss with the midwife. and cutting out caffiene (said as I drink my chai... now feeling a little guilty, oops, I didn't think of that when I steeped it)

I would get your H/H restested, just in case, since physiological anemia balances out after the initial drop, and it sounds like the last time they tested was about 28 weeks. then if it isn't anemia, you know, and can figure out what it is to fix the problem. if it is anemia, you can fix that too. and it's an easy test to have done.

hoping you feel well again soon!

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#16 of 16 Old 01-28-2003, 12:26 AM
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I am also taking Fluordix for iron and just wanted to add that my midwives told me that it is important to not take iron and calcium supplements together... they basically cancel each out and your body won't absorb much of either one.
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