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Stopping bfing due to anaemia?

(16 Posts)
reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:07:21

DD is 20 MO. She has one feed in the evenings. I love bfing her and had aimed to continue till she was 2 and then reassess and think about stopping. I've been diagnosed with anaemia - my iron levels are only 7 which apparently is dangerously low. I have a copper coil giving heavy periods and my diet is very restricted so I'm stuck for choice with iron rich foods. I also react alot with iron medication. GP has given me a month to increase levels using floradix herbal iron supplements and increasing iron through diet and has also given me medication to help with the heavy periods. I didn't mention to GP that I was still bfing (she didn't ask and I didn't think at the time) but now I'm wondering if this is having a detrimental effect on my iron stores and should I stop. I'm not really sure how much one feed a day would make a difference on my iron levels. Does anyone know if it would help me much or offer any advice on this please?

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 11:10:34

I wouldn't think that one BF a day would affect iron levels unless your daughter is a vampire. confused Have you tried Spatone? I'd say your periods are a problem though, I hope you manage to get these sorted. smile

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:36:51

Thanks lady - I think the periods are the main problem too. Apparently my iron levels are borderline but it's my iron stores that are so low - so I wasn't sure if bfing has wilted the stores, but I guess that could have happened when I was bfing all day long and I"m just struggling to get it back to normal. I don't want to stop but if it would greatly help my health then I would IYKWIM. Am a bit in shock at the min the levels are so low tbh confused

ISeeThreadPeople Mon 29-Oct-12 11:43:18

My levels were similarly low when bfing dd at 19mo. Idjit of a hv said I MUST stop bfing as I was going to- and I quote- 'waste away'. I ignored her. DD was drinking milk, not blood and first port of call wasn't to stop bfing. I too had a copper coil and v heavy periods. My levels were rather depleted anyway from a traumatic birth and heavy blood loss and I hadn't quite got them back up to an acceptable level. I'm always slightly anaemic anyway according to general rules (though symptomless and it's not a concern) so the heavy periods tipped me over the edge.

I did have the coil out in the end tbh as my periods didn't improve and it was causing more problems than it was solving. Spatone or floradix alone aren't really enough for significant anaemia. Have you tried all of the options with iron supplements? I finally found one which worked after trying lots and reacting to them. I've also had an injection in the past. In the meantime, I used spatone 3x daily, always with vit c, never with caffeine, ate a lot of vit c rich food alongside as much iron rich stuff as I could find. I continued bfing until dd self weaned at 3.4.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 11:48:00

The contraceptive pill can help heavy periods, as can tranexamic acid. I'm trying acupuncture. I'll let you know if this works when aunty flo decides to turn up. smile

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:49:18

Thanks Isee - your situ was very similar to mine! I would have my coil out but it is the last thing on the contraceptive list, if I have this out there is absolutely nothing left we can try or use, we've gone through everything else. This does explain so much though - why I'm tired all the time and struggle through the days and why I can never do anything at week ends as I'm so shattered. Iron meds haven't worked at all for me in the past stomach wise. I have bad IBS and it just gets set off from the iron. At present I'm having a half doe of floradix a day and I can just about manage that, but will start increasing it. I'll go out and get a stock of iron foods this afternoon, but am restricted due to IBS, veggie and gluten free. I'll just hope all my efforts help I guess and keep on with the bfing unless there is specific medical advice that I shouldn't.

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:50:34

lady tranexamic acid - the Gp said I would ahve that if the prescription she gave me didn't work. I can't remember what she said she prescribed me but it's a type of anti inflammatory which helps stop too much AF bleeding. Good luck with acupuncture - I had that in the past for hormone issues!

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 11:52:36

There's also mefanamic acid. My GP said this only works for pain, not for bleeding, and couldn't understand why my old GP had prescribed only that.

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 12:36:09

Think that might be what my GP has prescribed lady , we shall see when I pick up the prescription later this week

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 12:38:19

Nutters, I just remembered I forgot to tell the GP I'm bfing so have no idea if they are suitable when bfing - did you take them when bfing ladymary ?

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Mon 29-Oct-12 12:48:40

No, the GP has only just prescribed them.

idlevice Mon 29-Oct-12 13:24:00

I take tranexamic acid for heavy bleeding & am bf-ing. When bf-ing my first my GP said it was better for me to be able to cope with the bleeding rather than not take them to a virtually negligible theoretical risk they could harm DS1 (he is 4 now & fine of course). You can get them over-the-counter at Boots or online from their website. To work properly they should be taken at the first sign of reasonable bleeding, not waiting until it is heavy.

I have heavy periods from fibroids which I've known about & managed for about 10yrs. Have you had the cause of your heavy periods properly investigated? (IBS-like symptoms can also be related to having fibroids btw)We use condoms for contraception cos I can't be doing with messing around with artificial hormones as I think taking the Pill when younger may have caused or contributed to me getting fibroids. DP & I use condoms for contraception. We have been together for 17yrs & only have the 2 kids we wanted with no dramas so they can be reliable. Could that be an option for you while you get this sorted out?

issimma Mon 29-Oct-12 13:28:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

reastie Mon 29-Oct-12 13:43:03

idle condoms would be our only option but as I'm allergic to latex we can only use non latex ones which are less effective, and DH has never got on with them and I get worked into a state about them not working so tbh we never really DTD when using them anyway confused . Interesting re: fibroids. Fobroids do run heavily in my family but nothing has been fully investigated but bleeding definitely only seems to be since having the coil a year or so ago. Idle - do you have any side effects from the meds? Just looked them up online and got in a bit of a state as I have emetophobia so the thought of having nausea and vomiting is so worrying to me I'm not scared of taking them confused

idlevice Wed 31-Oct-12 14:26:01

No side effects for me, maybe once or twice I took the tabs on a completely empty stomach & felt nauseous but then that could happen with a headache tablet. I get v thirsty but GP said that was prob mainly due to blood loss as blood is a fluid too of course! Tranexamic acid is part of the NSAID family (non-steroidal anti-imflammatory drugs) which includes mefanamic acid & ibrupofen.

reastie Wed 31-Oct-12 18:11:58

Idle that's really interesting re: thirsty as that's why I went to the GP in the first place!

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