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Anaemia/ iron levels

(9 Posts)
Hayls Thu 20-Nov-03 09:39:20

Hi. i'm 30 weeks pg and have been feeling unbelievably tired. I thought this was just an effect of pregnancy but when my iron levels came back yesterday they were 10.7 (were 12 a few weeks ago -26 weeks?). I have been anaemic in the past and was just wondering if this level was low enough to make me feel so tired? mw wasn't too concerned as she said 'it's nearly 11' but i don't know what a 'healthy' level is! I've also been feeling a bit dizzy, which she put down to my low BP (has been low throughout the pg)
Any advice?

marsup Thu 20-Nov-03 12:13:27

Hayls, it is hard to compare levels of tiredness but I think it is normal to be pretty exhausted after 30 weeks. Personally I'm having a 90 min nap almost every day and feel I could sometimes do with two! If your iron levels are almost normal I would hesitate to take supplements because they make you constipated. I think dark green vegetables, particularly parsley, and lentils have lots of iron (red meat of course too but I'm a vegetarian so nearly forgot to mention that - tuna steaks could be a good compromise). Tabbouleh is supposed to be really good because it combines boulghour (cracked wheat) and lots of parsley.

musica Thu 20-Nov-03 12:15:20

Hayls -my HB went down to 11, and I think that is considered fine - it's normal for them to go down during the pregnancy. I think marsup's advice is good about the diet. Dizziness - I kept fainting, which I think was down to low blood pressure, and I found ice cold water helped if I started feeling dizzy.

Rhubarb Thu 20-Nov-03 16:06:18

Anything that is 10 or over is fine. Mine is 9.8 and I feel fine, but they want to raise the levels to 10 as I'm booked in for a home birth, so I'm taking one iron pill a day.
'Normal' iron levels are around 12, but 10.7 is above their criteria so you are definitely not anaemic.

zebra Thu 20-Nov-03 19:01:53

Funny what Rhubarb said... last pregnancy I had iron levels of 10.3 at my booking appt, and 10.7 at around 34 weeks. The MWs were delighted because my numbers had gone up -- and no one ever even suggested I was anemic or should have iron tablets.

Of course, levels were only 10.3 at booking appt. because I was sick 4x/day, steadily losing weight, & not keeping food down properly, whereas at 34 weeks I was eating heartily & drinking Floradix most days -- but hey, just goes to show how silly the iron testing regime is. In my first pregnancy I was prescribed iron tablets as soon as the numbers dropped below 11.3.

A lot of people in the HomeBirth movement would say that a woman's iron levels are supposed to be much lower in pregnancy; don't ask me to remember all the arguments for that, though.

Zerub Thu 20-Nov-03 19:19:10

Boots and Holland & Barrett sell "Spatone" which is a liguid iron supplement (you stick it in some orange juice and then you can't taste it). Its a form of iron that is more easily absorbed by the body than the compound that they normally put in tablets (can't remember the chemical names, sorry). But basically, Spatone doesn't make you constipated and it does get your iron levels up quickly. Comes in big orange boxes. I tell every pregnant woman I meet about it...

Hayls Fri 21-Nov-03 14:38:24

Thanks for al your advice. I'm reassured now! I suppose it's just a combination of low bp, tiredness and just being pg aking me feel like this.

AnnaK Sun 30-Nov-03 16:53:41

My iron levels have sunk to 10.7 and I have been prescribed iron tablets. I was told that under 12 was anaemic. Not suffering too badly from any side effects but feeling much brighter after taking them for 5 days.
However, I am also suffering from heart murmur and palpitations which could be linked to low iron levels. I have been referred back to the hospital for an appointment with the cardiologist. ( I am 27 weeks gone and the extreme tiredness was getting me down.)

Rhubarb Mon 01-Dec-03 14:36:23

AnnaK - my iron levels are now 10.7 and I am told this is perfectly normal for late pregnancy and they are happy to go ahead with my planned homebirth. Anywhere between 10 and 12 is considered normal - can I ask how pregnant you are? Tiredness comes with the pregnancy and is normal so I wouldn't read anything into that. However if you are happy taking the iron and aren't having any side effects then that's fine. I do think people are told different things depending on where they live!

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