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Post natal anaemia - help me sort the advice wheat from the advice chaff

(7 Posts)
SmallScrewCap Mon 07-Sep-09 10:23:45

Nearly 2 weeks since my c-section now, slightly anaemic, thought I was doing quite well, but last night had a floppy episode and had to retire from a houseful of guests to bed in a Garboesque flutter - very embarrassing. I'm on the ferrous sulphate and will mention to midwife later, still getting home visits, so am being well looked after.

I am usually Ms lifter of boxes, furniture shifter, doer of heavy jobs etc. so it's very out of character for me and I want it gone!

Advice is flowing thick and fast from friends and family, I have no idea what is and isn't useful, and don't want to Google and hear horror stories.

I do like Guinness, but not convinced it's the golden road to lashings of haemoglobin. Spinach really any good? Steak really best meat? I know vitamin C is needed to process iron, any tips about that? Rest vs. activity - should I be building up and strengthening myself, or lolling about in bed?

Thank you...

AMumInScotland Mon 07-Sep-09 10:56:23

Hi, I think it takes your body a little while to build your new red blood cells even once it has plenty of iron available, so I wouldn't worry too much that you're not fixed yet. Keep going with the tablets and talk to the midwife, but in the meantime -

All dark green vegetables contain iron - spinach isn't any better than others, so just have whichever dark greens you enjoy.

And I think all red meat will contain similar amounts of iron, steak not any better than others, so again have whichever meats you like.

You're right about the vitamin c, so make sure you keep that up with fruit, juice, etc. But I don't think it has to be at the same meal, just not being short of it.

I'd focus on rest when you feel you need it - I don't think you can push your body into making the new blood cells any faster by exercising, so don't push yourself as you'll only feel exhausted for no benefit. Give it another week or two, and I'm sure you'll be feeling chirpier!

SmallScrewCap Mon 07-Sep-09 18:35:08

Thanks AMumInScotland - it's good to know that it takes a while for red blood cells to get their mojo back. Too tempting to look for a quick solution that will have me back on my feet, as usual.

Spoke to midwife and she says it sounds like a combo of anaemia and trying to do too much at the first sign of feeling better - thing is, I really have been taking it very very easy, yesterday I only put 2 loads of washing on, put a lasagne in the oven and then washed up 5 plates, so it was hardly a big day. I did have lots of visitors though, and as lovely as it is to have guests I think it's easy to underestimate how much just sitting and talking can take it out of you.

Think I should just continue with the online grocery shopping, crack open the box sets and breastfeed for a fortnight then?

acebaby Mon 07-Sep-09 18:46:46

SmallScrewCap - "I really have been taking it very very easy, yesterday I only put 2 loads of washing on, put a lasagne in the oven and then washed up 5 plates". You forgot to mention the 24 hour care of a newborn baby, recovering from major surgery, breastfeeding - not to mention a houseful of guests. You sound like superwoman! smile.

Seriously though, it is bound to take some time to recover. You could try spatone (mineral water sachets that are full of natural iron), but check with the mw first that you can take them with the ferrous sulphate. Also drink drink drink (water that is wink). Breastfeeding and recovery from birth take mean that you need much much more liquid than usual.

Take care of yourself - I'm sure you'll be back on your feet before long

abra1d Mon 07-Sep-09 18:59:27

I have had problems with anaemia several times and I have to say that Floradix has worked best for me. It seems to kick in faster than Spatone for me.

SmallScrewCap Tue 08-Sep-09 09:06:31

Why thank you acebaby.

I will look out Spatone/Floradix and give them a whirl.

Spent the day on my bottom yesterday watching "How Clean Is Your House" on 4oD, tutting at other people's mess and ignoring my own house. This also seems to be quite effective as I am feeling a lot stronger this morning!

EightiesChick Sat 12-Sep-09 21:58:36

Rest till you feel better!

Take your iron tabs with a glass of orange juice so the vitamin C helps absorption. But also, don't drink milk close to taking your supplement as it interferes with absorption. I was told to avoid tea/coffee with milk in for half an hour before and after taking the tablet.

The only really quick solution is having a blood tranfusion - I have had this when severely anaemic and felt like Superman about an hour later smile Iron tablets will take a few days to kick in and a week or two to make a real difference. So take it easy for a while yet. Pushing yourself to do more will not help at all.

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