Will being anaemic stop me having my baby in a birth centre?

(20 Posts)
CountBapula Thu 20-Feb-14 22:30:25

I'm 37 weeks with DC2 and went for a risk assessment and tour of my local birth centre last night. They said my iron levels were slightly below their criteria, and gave me another blood test.

A receptionist from my GP surgery rang this morning and said they had a prescription waiting for me for iron tablets. When I was all confused she said, 'Were you aware that you're anaemic?' hmm Obviously she wasn't able to give me any more details.

Has anyone been anaemic and still managed a birth centre birth? My local birth centre is pretty new, has a great reputation and is gorgeous (at least compared to the labour ward) so I really, really want to give birth there. DC1's birth wasn't exactly traumatic but it still ended up with a ventouse after an induction, sans drugs which fecking hurt so I'm keen to have a calmer experience this time round.

luluscadoo Thu 20-Feb-14 23:27:23

It depends on how low your iron levels are. At my local birth centre you have to have a hb of at least 90 or you have to go to labour ward.

You would have to ask your midwife what the levels are for your birth centre. It seems quite late for you to be getting iron tablets, I would have
thought that you would have been given them when you had the blood test the birth centre saw before sending you for another one.

I just got my bloods back at 93 so I can just about get in to the birth centre. Good luck with the iron tablets I hope they have an effect in time for your birth.

dizhin79 Fri 21-Feb-14 00:39:01

I've had iron tablets so I can birth at home too, they kicked in energy wise after a couple of days. My iron levels were tested after a week and had improved, so hopefully they will kick in quickly for you too.

Make sure you take them with orange juice and not a milky drink, vit c aids absorption. Good luck getting those levels up grin

CountBapula Fri 21-Feb-14 08:42:04

Thanks both. My last blood test, in December, showed an iron level of 99.5 and their threshold is 100 hmm which is why they did the second test - maybe my MW thought I'd get away with it. I don't know what the number was for the latest test. I've been craving raw broccoli confused so suspected I might be a bit low.

Seeing MW on Wed so can find out more then (and eat lots of steaks in the meantime).

mayhew Sat 22-Feb-14 12:57:37

Birth centres set their own low-risk criteria for acceptance which includes a minimum hamoglobin. Often hb 10 (or 100 in your money!). We like round numbers…

Birthing at home is different. Its your own home, you might be advised against it, but no one can stop you birthing there.

There is no significant risk in labour if you are anaemic. Its just that if you have a significant blood loss at delivery, you have no reserve inyour tank. This could lead to shock and some serious complications.

CountBapula Sat 22-Feb-14 13:21:44

mayhew thanks. Are you a midwife?

The thing is, my birth centre (Lewisham) is connected to the hospital - it's literally one floor below the labour ward. So if I lost blood and needed medical attention, couldn't they just wheel me up there?

A friend started her labour there and her DS got stuck so they just transferred her straight to the labour ward.

PenguinsEatSpinach Sat 22-Feb-14 14:29:31

It doesn't make any difference that it is on site with the CLU (yeay to the campaigners to save Lewisham, as an aside). They still set their own risk profile. From what I know of Lewisham it is pretty strict generally and they have issues like insurance whether or not the CLU is a floor away- it still isn't where the doctors and equipment are. sad

CountBapula Sat 22-Feb-14 16:14:16

Yay indeed - it's a wonderful place and all the staff I've encountered there have been brill.

Just spoken to MW and I just have to get my levels up - they've dropped to 8.8 (from 9.9 at the end of December). So I have to mainline iron and they'll keep testing me over the next few weeks.

PenguinsEatSpinach Sat 22-Feb-14 17:50:31

Great. Lots of iron rich food with the tablets and what is it helps absorption, vit c?

glorious Sat 22-Feb-14 17:59:11

I think mayhew is indeed a midwife, she's advised on one of my threads before smile

I hope you get to use the birth centre at Lewisham, it's brilliant.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 17:59:39

Can I suggest you use floradix or spatone rather than the tablets - they work much much more quickly as they have all the stuff you need in them for you to absorb the iron and you don't get constipated on them!

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 22-Feb-14 18:44:52

I had exactly same thing. I got mine up from below 9 by using spatone, and went on to have a waterbirth in th birthing centre.

CountBapula Sat 22-Feb-14 18:45:24

Thanks Random, yes, I picked up some Spatone earlier - I had iron tablets while pg with DC1 and they made me really constipated so hoping this won't do that especially as I've got piles.

CountBapula Sat 22-Feb-14 18:46:05

Ooh scarlettsmummy that's brill - thanks for posting.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 19:00:00

I certainly got my levels up quickly - in 2 weeks I went from falling asleep at every opportunity to feeling human again!

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:39:23

Only thing is- if it is really low maybe check that you shouldn't stick with the tablets rather than spatone as I think they are a higher dosage. I was meant to take three iron tablets a day, but substituted for one tablet and two spatone, as the three tablets was really hard on my digestive system.

CountBapula Sat 22-Feb-14 21:34:08

Okay, will do - I thought I'd start on the spatone this weekend until I can get to the GP on Monday to pick up the prescription for the tablets.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 23-Feb-14 00:21:15

Get lots of pure orange juice too to take with it.

mayhew Sun 23-Feb-14 18:47:20

I am a midwife with a mainly community/home birth background. The thing about midwife led units is they are usually hemmed in with very tight guidelines about who they can accept. This is a consequence of the risk averse climate in which the NHS now functions. IMO This can lead to so many women being"risked out" that the unit does not have enough clients to be viable or women choosing home birth where they might have been better off in a co located mlu.

CountBapula Mon 24-Feb-14 10:46:54

Thanks mayhew - yes, I can imagine that happening. A real shame.

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