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anyone know if low iron levels affect lactation/milk supply?

(19 Posts)
JiminyCricket Mon 31-Oct-05 20:37:22

my iron was a bit low during pregnancy and went down to 6 after removal of retained placenta...level was better at last blood test, and although i am feeding OK, my supply never seems overwhelming (might be reacting to feelings of inadequacy after hearing that friend expressed three full large bottles from one breast one day tho!)

suzi2 Mon 31-Oct-05 21:22:51

no idea. but just wanted to say that I always feel my supply never feels great - expressing several timesaday for one bottle. BUT - my DS is gaining well so I must be fine.

Don't feel inadequate - it's just that yor boobs are so in tine with your baby they don't produce too much

JiminyCricket Mon 31-Oct-05 21:43:32

Thanks suzi2...tbh my dd isn't gaining so well at the mo, which is also not great for my confidence, although I know in my heart of hearts that she's happy and alert and lets me know when she's hungry, so as people keep telling me on here, I just need to chill and accept that she will gain weight in her own sweet way

karmamother Mon 31-Oct-05 21:55:41

JC, the amount of milk you produce is dictated by the baby's demand at the breast, so I wouldn't worry about your low haemoglobin. I was anaemic last time, although not as low as you. I had IBS & my nutritional state, as a result, was crap. My DS grew & grew whilst I got thinner & thinner! Your boobs are wonderful at making sure the milk is just right. How do you think women in Third Wrld countries manage to BF? What are you taking to bring up your iron levels?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 01-Nov-05 07:24:49

I don't think low iron affects supply. But low iron does affect (your) energy level and mood. So get it sorted out for that reason if no other.

JiminyCricket Tue 01-Nov-05 11:09:25

KM, I'm not taking anything any more because levels were better last time my blood was tested - due for a retest soon. DD is feeding loads last few days, either a growth spurt or because she's got a cold. Hopefully my supply will catch up soon, but certainly my once a day expressing is producing about half what it was before - prob just because she's feeding more and supply hasn't caught up. I asked the question because I'm sure one of my midwives said low iron could affect lactation, and wondered if anyone could back this up, but sounds like maybe she was wrong?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 01-Nov-05 11:10:37

JC, if you can, it's best to get your iron levels high, rather than just ok. Do you like any high iron foods? (Red meat, lentils/beans, broccoli, dried apricots?)

JiminyCricket Tue 01-Nov-05 19:58:49

Hmm,NQC, I do like all of those but not v good at eating them consistently enough, but i did buy some apricots today so will go and eat some in a minute, was eating a salad with watercress most days before so will try to do that again. Thanks

NotQuiteCockney Tue 01-Nov-05 20:32:52

How about hummous? Easy to eat - I used to have raw broccoli dipped in hummous, after I had DS1 and had low iron levels. (For DS2, I was nearly magnetic, having been a red meat fiend in pregnancy. Made it all a lot easier!)

alux Tue 01-Nov-05 22:51:38

I asked the question because I'm sure one of my midwives said low iron could affect lactation, and wondered if anyone could back this up, but sounds like maybe she was wrong?

How much you express has nothing to do with how much your body is producing - especially if you are stressing out about expressing. Yes, baby may be having a growth spurt, or looking for comfort. I think my dd went thru a 2 wk growth spurt so take heart. If baby is going thru how old is baby? weight gain is not the best indicator of supply either. what is a better indicator is if baby is alert, generally content & producing lots of wet and pooey nappies.

If your iron levels are rising then don't sweat it. It means you have got baby this far and your iron levels are rising so something must be going right. Midwives are not the best people to get information from about b/f, and neither are hv's in my own experience. Try a breast feeding counsellor instead. In the first 6 - 12 weeks when you are establishing a supply, it is the hormone prolactin that controls supply, not your iron levels. After that, it is baby's demand. Hence, baby will always get what baby needs from you first. It is only when you are going thru malnutrition that baby will start to get less than necessary. (I don't think this is your scenario. )

If you want to self-educate, here is a site to do lots of research. milk supply . You can read here for days and keep learning new stuff.

alux Tue 01-Nov-05 22:54:40

ignore the 1st sentence (it was yours) and 'if your baby is going thru'

karmamother Wed 02-Nov-05 10:51:36

Thanks for that link Alux, God I wish I'd had this info when I had ds, 9 yrs ago. Just read the forceful let-down bit, which was a problem for us & it took me a few fraught weeks identifying this & discovering ways to remedy it. Thank God for MN!!!

BTW, Holland & Barrett have dried apricots on special offer at the moment!!

JiminyCricket Wed 02-Nov-05 21:25:15

That is a REALLY good site - I'm wondering if trying the breast compression might work for me. Thanks.

chipmonkey Wed 02-Nov-05 22:03:04

Works for me Jiminycricket, thanks to jabberwocky!

jabberwocky Fri 04-Nov-05 00:19:33

Awww, you're very welcome chipmonkey

amanda966 Sun 14-Feb-16 21:16:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

UptownFunk00 Wed 17-Feb-16 18:20:03

As far as I'm aware there is no link as I had low iron haemoglobin went down to 5.0 but so far DD2 seems to be feeding well (1 week old today).

tiktok Wed 17-Feb-16 19:13:02

Anaemia is associated with low milk supply. The midwives are right. But your supply sounds fine. Who wants overwhelming milk production?

Marginally low iron levels don't seem to make much difference to milk supply, btw.

Focusfocus Thu 18-Feb-16 03:49:35

Zombie thread was resurrected by spammer

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