Anyone else anemic? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else found out they are anemic? At my last midwives appointment the midwife thought I looked anemic so she asked if I wanted to be tested. They did the test and I did come back anemic. Although I am not super low, I am under the cutoff, and definitely below what they consider optimal.

I am also relieved because I have been feeling so tired, out of breath, out of it, and have been getting really bad leg cramps. I read up on the symptoms of anemia and I have all of them. I had also noticed I had pretty bad dark circles and looked even pastier then usual.

Right after the appointment I went out and got some Floradix. Now that the results are back they want me taking something a bit more potent. I can't remember what it is called but they said it was a good supplement because it doesn't have most of the sideeffects a regular iron supplement would have.

Anyways... has anyone else had to work on getting their iron levels up? Any thoughts or advice?

Me: Shannon (33) mom to DD Everly born May 9, 2007 and Maisie born May 26
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#2 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Hi Shannie,

I'm due May 26th but mostly post in the June DDC because my dates were off in the beginning. I found out I was anemic at my last visit also. My OB did a blood count when I had my GTT. I asked for advice from the June mamas and got some wonderful suggestions you may want to check out:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1196861

In addition, I started taking a supplement called Slow FE. I was nervous about it as I've had stomach problems with iron pills before but so far these are working out fine. I'm also eating spinach and tomato salads, lots of chickpeas and being careful to avoid combining calcium with iron. I'm already feeling much more energetic and have noticed that I look less pale.

Good luck!!!

Working mama to a wonderful baby girl. Married to a really sweet guy. Just trying to do my best.
     
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#3 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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Hi Shannon,

I've had decreasing iron levels throughout my pregnancy. I don't really have any suggestions for you, but just wanted to commiserate, plus read the responses if anyone else has answers. When they first tested me at about 20 weeks or so, I was in the anemic, but don't panic about it, range. The doctor prescribed me an iron supplement that actually did what she promised: it didn't make me sick, neither did it constipate me. It's called Proferrin, if you're interested. I'm also in Canada, so you can probably find it too. However, subsequent testing has shown a steady decrease in iron levels, despite the proferrin. I switched to another brand, but it consistently made me vomit. I've added more meat to my diet as well (I was almost vegan for years, except for eggs, before the pregnancy!). During my last pregnancy, I was also severely anemic, to the point where they were talking transfusion at the birth. Luckily it didn't go that far. My mom had the same problem when she had us. At this point, 36 weeks along, I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that my levels don't fall too much more.

Oh, the one thing I learned about iron intake as well is that you need vitamin C to absorb it. There are some really delicious oranges out there right now, so eat up!
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#4 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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I became unusually tired and sluggish around the 6th or 7th month of my pregnancy, to the point that even brief errands exhausted me. When I went in for my glucose tolerance test, my ob/gyn found that I was anemic. He recommended an over-the-counter supplement called Slow Fe, and within a day or two my energy levels were back to normal. Apart from darker, harder stools, I experienced no side effects, and continued taking it until I gave birth.

Mother of Mosole 5/23/2009
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#5 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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The skin on potatoes, brussel sprouts, peanut butter, anything green/leafy also helps. Oh i have a bowl of rice chex for breakfast as well and that's loaded with iron.

This time, right when it started getting low I started the things listed above, and while still low it's not bad thanks in part to these foods. I know it sucks, last pregnancy I was SUPER low by this time. I hope you can get a hold on it mama!!

Tenk ~ happily married with lots of kids

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#6 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your replies and suggestions.

The weird thing is I do feel like I eat pretty well in terms of iron (from reading up on it). I do eat a lot of meat but I do eat it a few times a week. I eat spinach salad most days, peanut butter, hummus, orange juice. If I have cereal it is raisin bran.

I have been craving a homemade hamburger now that the weather is getting nicer. So maybe the warmer weather and increase in burgers will help too!

Yvonne - You just described me with the errands. I have basically stopped doing them on my own because I get so wiped out. I also teach ballet and that has gotten difficult. I am still pretty small belly wise, so had been feeling pretty sure it wasn't the actually baby/ belly that was slowing me down.

Me: Shannon (33) mom to DD Everly born May 9, 2007 and Maisie born May 26
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#7 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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I am anemic all the time, just how I am, but more so during pregnancy. My routine is to check my hemoglobin in the third trimester, and take Chromagen twice a day to "bulk up". My hemoglobin last month was 9.4, Im hoping to get up to 12 by delivery. I have hemorrhaged after both previous delieveries, so Id love to go in with a good hemoglobin. With my first delivery I refused a transfusion after so I ended up having to stay in the hospital for 5 days b/c they wouldnt let me go home til my hemoglobin was 9.0. By taking chromagen during third trimester with my second child, I only dropped to 10 after delivery which is pretty decent.
I never feel any different no matter what my hemoglobin is. I only feel different after the blood loss. Then I feel like crap lol.

Erin
mom to Kennedy, Owen, Liam & BABY. 1.7.13
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#8 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I have been taking iron this whole pregnancy because I am borderline anemic all the time. Sometimes a little above, sometimes a little below. With iron, I tested 11.5 which is a little above. Iron pills can cause constipation so I also eat prunes every other night.

D. proud Mom of H. E. M. and T. always remembering Norah (11/07 at 40 wks) and (10/06) see profile
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#9 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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I am. My HB is 106 and my Ferritin is only 6 (should be 40). I was just moaning about it on the weekly discussion thread as it happens

I started on Floradix but I've only been taking it once a day cos it makes me nauseated if I take it in the morning. When I see my GP next week I'm going to ask him for a 'script for a heavier duty iron supplement. I'm also going to increase my dietary iron, maybe red meat everyday.

One of the problems I'm finding is getting something with a decent amount of iron which doesn't also have a whack of folic acid in it

DH has suggested daily liver and guinness - blech.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#10 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I take Slow FE to help. I would eat spinach, etc. but it still makes me violently ill. Yesterday I had a dark greens salad and vomited the rest of the day.

Slow FE works fine.

I admit I am seriously craving red meat right now. I have been a veggie for years but am starting to wonder if I am going to have to give myself a break and just eat some to help with my equilibrium.

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#11 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Also slightly anemic. Have been through this entire pregnancy (and have been toward the end of all my other pregs too). I started taking iron pills back when they first discovered I was slightly anemic, around 18wks, but apparently it hasn't helped because my levels were basically exactly the same at my 27wk appt. UGH.

So, I'm taking iron 2x/day, but not sure it's helping. I am simply exhausted.

E ~ Mostly-SAHM to 3 amazing boys (and another little guy still percolating, due 5/10)! :
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#12 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiteLikeRain View Post
Also slightly anemic. Have been through this entire pregnancy (and have been toward the end of all my other pregs too). I started taking iron pills back when they first discovered I was slightly anemic, around 18wks, but apparently it hasn't helped because my levels were basically exactly the same at my 27wk appt. UGH.

So, I'm taking iron 2x/day, but not sure it's helping. I am simply exhausted.
It likely is helping though, because your levels are expected to drop in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. So if you maintained, you're doing great!

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
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#13 of 13 Old 03-05-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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One thing to note about spinach and other green leafies is that they contain oxalic acid which interferes with iron absorption. I thought it was quite interesting that after years of vegetarianism, it didn't take long into my pregnancy before I was craving red meat and throwing up after eating the previously sacred green leafies. I decided that my body knew what was best (mostly, anyway...I can't imagine what essential nutrients it thought it would get from marshmallows!), and bought good cuts of grass-fed beef. If I'm going to eat it, at least it will be from a healthy cow. That said, I'm still anemic, even with the red meat and iron supplement. My last number was 9.5. Hopefully I'll hang onto at least that for the rest of the pregnancy, and hopefully that's good enough to carry me through childbirth and its attendant blood loss. I do NOT want a transfusion.

Oh yeah, lentils and beans are also good. Personally, I can no longer deal with beans (they're on the long list of food my body has decided to boycott), but lentils remain tolerated and yummy! I have a great lentil-mushroom casserole recipe if you're interested. I don't know about eggs, but I figure they're meant to sustain life, and I think they have just about every nutrient in them.
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