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Low iron levels in pregnancy....although not that low?

(13 Posts)
LazyLinePainterJane Tue 07-Oct-08 13:55:36

Am 35 weeks, had blood test last week. Today received prescription through the post for iron tablets and a letter telling me my count is low. Called the hospital to find out what it is and my count is 10.5.

Of course, I don't want to do anything that could cause further complications down the line, but I certainly don't want to take iron tablets if they are just being careful, I have taken them before (years ago) and did not enjoy the side effects. I am uncomfortable enough as it is without constipation and nausea to add to the list.

I have read it is normal for levels to drop in late pregnancy but the woman on the phone told me they should be back up now.

Also, what is spatone? Could that help? Would you take the tablets? FWIW, I don't feel anaemic, I have been so before and generally get symptoms, run down, I get split lips and whatnot. None of that.

tryingtoleave Tue 07-Oct-08 14:04:15

I don't really know much but I'm 32 weeks and have been taking iron tablets for the last 6 weeks (I'm waiting for the results of a blood test to see if I can stop). I didn't get constipated or nausea, but if you've had that problem before it is obviously a consideration for you. I didn't know split lips were a symptom, but my lips have been horrible through this pregnancy.

LazyLinePainterJane Tue 07-Oct-08 14:13:25

Well I'm not sure that they are, but have noticed in the past that when I have been run down and anaemic, the insides of my lips split, they get sore as well. It's always been a bit of a giveaway for me.

I just don't want to take them if they are only prescribing because that is what they do in this HA, if anyone sees what I mean. I have read a lot of things about it being normal to have a lower hb count at this point, even that it is a good thing.

am confused.

WowOoo Tue 07-Oct-08 14:17:57

I was offered iron tablets and asked them if I could try to remedy it myself first. I ate iron rich foods for a week and had another blood test and it was fine.
I think I also took vit c as that helps iron absorption, but was a while ago so acn't remember. Worth a try.

I didn't want to take the tabs as I feared constipation. Ask to get re-tested in a week and get eating spinach and steak!?

WowOoo Tue 07-Oct-08 14:20:09

By the way, had to continue eating iron rich food (not jsut for a week as previous post may suggest) and they insisted I got tested regularly which was perhaps more of a pain than just taking them!

beeper Tue 07-Oct-08 14:22:59

Hi OP. I was the same as you. DS2 born in may. My iron levels went down to 10.1 and I refused to take those horrible iron tablets. I took two spatone a day in the morning on a empty stomach with orange juice. The key is NOT to eat any dairy within 40 mins of taking it or the Iron absorbtion is ruined.

I also hemorraged over 700ml on the operating table and when my iron levels where retested on discharge they where still over 10.

They will not let you have a home birth if your levels are lower than 10 (apparently)

As long as you feel ok and not woozy and stuff I would stick with the spa tone. I firmly but polietly refused the cheap and nasty iron tablets

tryingtoleave Tue 07-Oct-08 14:26:07

What is the problem with iron tablets? Is it just the constipation or is there more? (obviously didn't do my research on this one - I was just desparately hoping they would make me less tired).

beeper Tue 07-Oct-08 14:32:14

I found this site helpful


Its a site run by midwives in the US it talks about iron issues down the page. It also give some reccommendations on increasing iron levels.

Constipation is enough of a reason to avoid them, believe you me, I spent 2 hours in the toilet once.

beeper Tue 07-Oct-08 14:33:36

If you are ok on the tabs then thats fine. I dont think there is any danger in taking them other than constipation.

mabel1973 Tue 07-Oct-08 14:43:30

My iron levels were low at my last blood test and my midwife told me to try and increase them with my diet and she is retesting me next week to see if they have increased, I am 34 weeks at the moment.
I took iron tablets with my previous 2 pregnancies and to be honest I really don't want to take them again, they do make you constipated and make your poo horrid (sorry TMI).
I have started reminding myself to take my pregnancare vitamins (along with my cocktail of rasperry leaf capsules of course!!!) and made my self a batch of Nigella's pea and pesto soup yesterday and chucked aload of spinach in as well grin

LazyLinePainterJane Tue 07-Oct-08 14:48:55

Thank you all, also thank you beeper, I do not want to take the tablets, especially as I do not think my level is that low. Shall look at that link and start the spatone and meat!

Highlander Tue 07-Oct-08 16:33:10

Hmm, has your MCV dropped? If not, then it's unlikely that you have a true anaemia.

Because pregnant women retain extra fluid in pregnancy, the iron you do have is diluted in a larger blood volume. Soooo, the actual amount of iron in your blood stays the same.

There have been a couple of studies done that suggest that an Hb of 10.5 at term is ideal.

LazyLinePainterJane Tue 07-Oct-08 16:57:46

Yes Highlander, that is what I have read. I don't know enough to know anything about MCV and it took me a good 10 minutes on the phone to just get my hb levels, they didn't send them out with the prescription.

I had thought it would be likely down to simple blood volume that they had dropped and my mum has mentioned something about slightly lower levels being beneficial, that is what is supposed to happen.

I mentioned this on the phone but they brushed me off. Which is why I am not keen on just blindly taking a load on tablets that might not be necessary and are likely to make me feel like shit.

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