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Blood loss / iron tablets

(15 Posts)
MrsCLH Sun 09-Oct-11 12:45:48

I lost a litre of blood during childbirth so they prescribed iron tablets for me. Does anyone know how long I'm supposed to carry on taking them for? I haven't yet finished the box that was given to me in hospital. I was also given painkillers on the same prescription and I asked my GP for more of these and he has given me more of the iron tablets at the same time. The problem is they are making me seriously constipated, its awful! I've cut them down from two a day to one a day and have been trying to eat iron rich foods to compensate but wondered if anyone knows do I just finish the original box or do I need to carry on taking them?

Makinglists Sun 09-Oct-11 13:00:26

I took mine for a month - that's all I was given and I was glad to finish them because they bunged me up!. After that I used spatone which dosen't seem to cause the constipation - I also ate lots of dried apricots which are quite tasty and high in iron.

mousymouse Sun 09-Oct-11 13:05:45

I took mine for a month and then switched to over the counter ones for another.

mousymouse Sun 09-Oct-11 13:06:33

for the constpation a drink of llactulose twice a day really helped.

QTPie Sun 09-Oct-11 15:59:21

Hi

I lost about 0.5 litres (C Section) and took them until the 6 week check - horrible. They really should have prescribed Lactulose or Fiji at to take at the same time. Either get some prescribed very quick or go out and buy it over the counter - start taking it very quickly.

QT

mousymouse Sun 09-Oct-11 16:02:33

lactulose is very cheap over the counter.

idlevice Mon 10-Oct-11 05:48:22

I lost 3 litres but was given iron tablets when in hospital for a week after. I took my own anyway as I usually take them being veggie & having heavy periods. But I would probably say take them until you are given the ok by your GP. If you feel tired, lightheaded or weak you can always start them back up again making sure you don't exceed the recommended dose, especially if your diet is not back to normal as it can be hard to eat properly looking after a new baby. The prescribed ones are the cheapest formulation which is well know for causing digestions issues. There are different iron compounds which are easier to absorb - you could research on the web or just ask over the counter at a pharmacists or health shop. Liquid iron formulations are usually easier to absorb, one of the best is iron-enriched water called Spatone but it is pricey.

haloflo Mon 10-Oct-11 09:52:10

I lost 1 litre too and took 3(!) a day for 8 weeks then 2 a day for another couple of weeks (as advised at my check) I didn't finish the final pack though as I got sick of them and I thought i'd probably be ok by then. I would do what idlevice said - try stop taking them and see how you feel. For comparison my iron count was 8.6 just after giving birth.

If you want to know for sure maybe your GP would do a quick blood test for you. Mine was going to but no blood would come out of my veins.

Remember that tea stops you absorbing it and orange juice helps the absorption.

vj32 Mon 10-Oct-11 10:45:45

I had a blood test at about 8 weeks to check my iron levels and was then told I could stop taking them.

vj32 Mon 10-Oct-11 10:47:48

Not sure what my iron level was in hospital though as I refused the blood test as they told me they would have to give me iron in a liquid drip and I didn't want that. They thought it was very low. I didn't.

Fresh01 Mon 10-Oct-11 12:48:37

I lost a litre of blood with my first and was put on iron tablets. I had to take them for 3 months then they did a blood test to check my iron levels were ok again. The iron tablets made me constipated too so I was swapped onto liquid iron on prescription.

I was told to make sure I have a bran based cereal. My doctor also said that the fastest way to increase your iron levels naturally was have a steak regularly washed down with orange juice.

I was breastfeeding which is why they wanted to make sure my iron levels were ok before stopping the iron tablets.

golemmings Wed 12-Oct-11 09:36:53

I was discharged with iron tablets earlier this week following 0.8l bleed. I'm vegetarian and breastfeeding. I have 2 weeks worth of tablets and was told to get my blood count checked with the practice nurse in a fortnight. I was advised that it would probably take 4-6 weeks for my iron to return to normal.

The midwife also said that were that there are lots of different types of iron tablets, some which can make you constipated and some which make you go and if I was struggling with the ones I had been prescribed, to try a different variety.

When DD was born 2 years ago my blood count was 8 on discharge (tbh its only 7.9 now) and having had a 3rd degree tear and being prescribed both lactulose and fibogel as a result of that, I negotiated with the midwife that I wouldn't have iron tablets (I was far to scared of constipation) but I would eat a high iron diet and drink Guinness. I didn't get my iron levels checked for 5 months by which time they were 14 but I was back doing competitive sport after 8 weeks and feeling pretty good. I was incredibly fit when I got pregnant with DD which I think made a difference and I'm feeling the anaemia much ore this time around. Walking up stairs leaves me breathless atm and the day after DS was born I almost passed out walking from the post natal ward to the neonatal unit where he was. It was only about 300m.

fallingandlaughing Wed 12-Oct-11 12:08:23

I lost 1.3 litres. I was given a week's supply by the hospital but GP says I need to take for up to 6 months.

The key to survival is Bran Flakes.

Iamjustthemilkmachine Wed 12-Oct-11 21:12:17

hi MrsCHL, how are you and baby? congratulations. I lost 1.5 ltrs and was given tablets too, I took them for about 3 weeks, then forgot. I made a point of eating lots of iron rich foods and drink orange juice with my meals (the dhs disgust). Seaweed has more iron than steak (and being veggie that was handy) and it's delicious so I just eat lots of that.

FlossieFromCrapstonVillas Wed 12-Oct-11 21:14:52

Spa tone is fab. Never had any digestion problem at all taking it

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