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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday they tested me again for my iron levels. I've been taking the expensive iron pills they prescribed for me (that have two kinds of iron, vitamins b-12, and c and also folic acid in them) for a month now and my number actually went down instead of up.

They told me to double up on the pills. I really do not want to go this route. I am already so "backed up" it's not even funny. I mean like 6 days in between a bowel movement, and it's painful when it does come.

I want to get the iron from foods. I love liver and thought this would be the obvious choice to get some extra iron from. I've been eating dried peaches, prunes, etc since yesterday. Anyways, even though my OB said it was fine I started looking online for foods really high in iron that are safe during pregnancy and everything says liver is a no no?? HUH?? It says it has too much vit A and can hurt the baby. I read the package and it says one piece of beef liver has 790% of the daily intake needed of vit A. UGH!

So I called my OB about it just now and his nurse assured me at 32+ weeks it's fine.

I just wanted to hear from other mamas here that they think it's ok too and have eaten it while pregnant.

Anyone?
 

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These articles should be helpful. Basically, liver is fine to consume in pregancy...it's synthetic vitamin A that you need to careful about.

http://westonaprice.org/children/dietformothers.html

Quote from above:

Diet for Pregnant & Nursing Mothers:
"3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week (If you have been told to avoid liver for fear of getting "too much Vitamin A," be sure to read Vitamin A Saga)"

http://westonaprice.org/basicnutriti...aminasaga.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/liver.html

p.s.- I've never eaten liver while pregnant (I don't care for it) but I would eat it if I liked it.
 

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My concern would be whether the liver is organic or not. Since the liver filters toxins out, liver from a non-organically raised animal is likely to have high levels of toxins, so I would not be comfortable eating non-organic liver while pregnant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well you are right - organic would certainly be better. The liver I got is from a local meat market though and the beef is raised right down the road from us. It doesn't state organic, but surely it is? I will call them just in case, thanks.

Thanks treehugg... checking out those links now!!
 

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Like the other responders, I wouldn't worry so much about the vit A (those are great links on the topic BTW) since it is not the synthetic form, but I would seek out the *best* liver you can find. Grassfed preferably organic diet, humanely raised, and so on.

My iron levels are always normal, I think because we cook with cast iron and have iron in the well water, but earlier in this pregnancy I found myself craving pate.

Do you like hummus? Beans, lentils and seeds are really good sources of dietary iron. Also, greens like chard and spinach. Prepare with tomatoes as a source of vitamin C to boost iron absorbtion.

As a last resort, Floradix is a food-based iron supplement that I have heard good things about.
 

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Not really regarding liver per se....but for iron levels I posted this before for vegetarians for increasing iron levels. Floradix has really worked well for me in the past for getting my iron levels up...and it doesn't cause constipation.

Anyhow..here it is again (just in case you're looking for other things too!):

....yesterday my midwife gave me a list of iron-rich foods: See below! Also, I took floradix a natural liquid iron form that is supposed to be absorbed more easily by the body and not result in constipation and has great results. You should be able to find it at the health food store!
Recommended iron is 13mgs/day:
Tofu, firm 1/2 cup = 13 mg
Tofu, regular 1/2 cup = 6.6 mg
Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup = 3.3 mg
Beans (most), cooked 1/2 cup - 2.2-2.6mg
Humus 1/2 cup = 1.9mg
Soy milk 1 cup = 1.4 mg
Split peas 1/2 cup = 1.3 mg
Tahini 2 tbsp = 2.7mg
Almond butter 2 tbsp = 1.2 mg
Cream of wheat fortified 3/4 cup = 9-11mg
Bran flakes with raisins 3/4 cup = 4.5 mg
Quinona, uncooked 1/4 cup = 3.9 mg
Wax beans 1/2 cup = 3.1 mg
Potato with skin (1 potato) = 2.8 mg
Peas 1/2 cup = 1.2 mg
Seaweed: Hijiki 1/4 cup = 6.4mg
Seaweek: Nori 1 sheet = 0.4 mg
Prunes 10 = 2.1 mg
Apricot Halves dried 10 = 1.7mg
Prune juice 1/2 cup = 1.5 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1tbsp = 3.2 mg
Egg (1 large) = 1 mg

this is from Melina et al: Becoming vegetarian, The complete guy to a lasting healthy vegetarian diet. 1994 Macmillan
 

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If the iron pills are stopping you up, then the iron is not making it into your system anyway. This is the reason that FFed babies and babies who are introduced to cereal early on often get constipated...the iron in those foods (and in your Rx supplements) is not bioavailable and so your body just dumps it into the intestines.

In addition to everything else suggested, you can cook in cast iron and eat a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every morning and evening. If you want, add the blackstrap molasses to the aforementioned cream of wheat and double up on your iron rich foods. Also, avoid eating your iron rich foods and/or taking your iron supplements with vitamin C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Avoid eating with vitamin c? That is right opposite of what I've heard. Now I am really confused.

Thanks for all the info and links! Hummus sounds yummy right about now.

I cooked a pot of beans and roast today. It was yummy. I am going to do away with the pills. I thought the same thing - how can they be helping if I am seeing them (evidence of them, as in poo that looks black as can be) everytime I finally have a bowel movement.

I have many cast iron skillets, mostly use them for cornbread and frying things. Will use them more often, never thought of them helping.

You gals are awesome with information! Thanks a bunch!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by immamama View Post
Avoid eating with vitamin c? That is right opposite of what I've heard. Now I am really confused.
Sorry, it's DAIRY to avoid with your iron. Calcium (Ca) and Vit. C always get mixed up in my brain. So don't drink milk with your iron supps, but do drink OJ
.
 

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I LOVE liver but also heard the advice to avoid it so I haven't eaten it at all while pregnant. I've never had my iron levels checked (my midwife doesn't do testing like that if she doesn't see any signs of trouble), but when I start feeling anemic I go straight for the red meat.

so if I have a craving for pate or foie gras, I just eat a big steak or burger and that satisfies me quite well.

I totally agree with the other posters that if you do eat some liver, be careful to get the highest quality you can possibly find. you want it from a very healthy animal who was fed an appropriate (preferably organic) good diet during its life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
Sorry, it's DAIRY to avoid with your iron. Calcium (Ca) and Vit. C always get mixed up in my brain. So don't drink milk with your iron supps, but do drink OJ
.
Ohh ok, thanks for clarifying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I am just gonna forego the liver and get the iron from other food sources.

The thing is I never feel anemic. I don't have any of the signs or symptoms listed which makes no sense to me considering how low my levels are.
 

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I'd quit the iron pills and start taking Floradix. It never makes me constipated at all and is supposed to be much more bio-available. It also has some B vitamins and other stuff in it.

I've been taking it for about a month, but just recently started taking mine with a chaser of juice and that has helped me a lot.
 
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