My doctor said my last bloods showed me to be a bit anaemic (Hb of 11, it was 14.3 on booking). When I discussed this with the midwife, she said this was perfectly normal haemodilution. The best explanation of which I can find is from the Radical Midwives website:
"It's like pouring more water into a glass of ribena - the amount of ribena stays the same! But the proportional amount of red blood cells in any sample that they might take for a blood test goes down - hence Hb results often go down. In a pregnant woman the 'diluted' blood flows more easily through the placenta, and of course you can lose more of it afterwards without problems, because it's been diluted. Then when you've given birth you wee and wee like crazy, the extra plasma disappears, and gradually the blood goes back to its normal non-pregnant state.
But lots of people tend to forget this, and try and make Hb stay the same throughout pregnancy - like a man's!! Philip Steer did a good piece of research on this some 10 years ago, which showed actually that women with lower Hbs (9 - 10) at the end of pregnancy had better outcomes than those with high Hbs. More lovely flow through that placenta!
Of course some women occasionally get anaemic in pregnancy, but this is not the same as normal, natural haemodilution. There are other blood tests rather than a simply Hb that tests for anaemia - mean blood cell volume (MCV) for example. Any woman who is being muttered at about having a low Hb should ask for her MCV to be taken."
Don't stress about it - sounds fine - if you want to increase it have leafy green veg (esp spinach), but your iron levels are SUPPOSED to go down during pregnancy I think as it can help with the birth...I'll see if I can find something
MP - Get yourself to the Chemist for SPATONE... its a liquid thing that you put in fruit juice and its great. Our MW's dont give out iron tablets, they reccomend spatone instead. My iron level is decreasing too - and is now at 9.9.
You will probably only need one sachet a day, im on 2!
Firstly, NICE do not recommend iron supplementation in pregnancy unless there is a proven clinical anaemia. In other words, Hb<10.5 plus a dropping MCV (<85 I think).
Secondly, there is evidence from a small study (BMJ, can't remember the volume) that for women with high Hb at birth (>12), the babies do less well.
Because your boold volume increases during pregnancy, your Hb drops giving an apparent anaemia. If your MCV (size of your red cells) stays roughly the same throughout pregnancy then ther is no problem.
I had exactly this battle with my OB. She was a doctor FFS, and I had to explain it to her. She replied, 'I recommend iron to all my ladies, just in case......' Jeez.........
Oops, have just read RedZuleika's post, which explains it sooooooooo much better than me. Sorry
I ate red meat twice a week and my Hb stayed at a perky 10.5. Dropped to 9.5 the day after my CS and I felt tip top. Ddin't bother having it re-checked.