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Low Iron Level - 39+4

(10 Posts)
Dachshund Tue 10-Nov-15 09:27:11

Hi all,

I've had a fairly steadily decreasing iron count in my last few routine blood tests, despite diligently taking spatone twice a day and eating all the leafy greens I can!

I'm booked in for a homebirth and was told that they wouldn't be happy if my blood iron levels went below 95g/L. Due to it being 98 at my 34 week check I was given another blood test at 38 weeks and that's now come back at 95.

I've been told to take iron tablets prescribed from the GP, in a standard pre-written letter sent from the hospital. My regular midwife, who is excellent, has not been in touch.

My question is, seeing as I'm due to give birth on Friday, so only really having a max of 2 weeks or so of pregnancy left, is it essential I take these tablets? I find it impossible to swallow them, having tried time and time again. I can't even swallow 'the pill' which is the tiniest little thing but my throat just closes up on pills! I've done a bit of googling and it would appear that these levels make me anaemic but no one has said anything about that to me and none of the midwives I've dealt with are unduly worried? Is the homebirth risk to do with bleeding post-partum? I don't feel any particular symptoms...

Sorry for the long post, first time mum here and I really don't want to be told I have to go into hospital just over this iron issue - I've already shelled out hiring a pool!

JJXM Tue 10-Nov-15 10:12:30

I had severe iron problems in my first pregnancy. In my second I took spatone from conception but still had to take iron tablets as spatone will only keep things level but isn't really effective enough once your iron starts dropping. I'm now taking iron in my third pregnancy and it had made a difference even now after a few days.

Can you not take any kind of tablets at all? Is it medical or psychological? A drop from 98 to 95 in four weeks isn't too bad but the risk is if you have a pph then you could need to go into hospital post birth for a blood transfusion. But this would be a risk for any home birth as if the pph was big enough it would affect the woman giving birth even if her iron levels were normal. Talk to your good midwife and see what she says. You could compromise and ask for bloods to be taken at 41 weeks and make a decision then.

Also iron levels affect people in different ways - for me at 109 I am breathless and feel faint but for others they feel fine at those levels. Do you feel anaemic - fatigue, breathless, racing heartbeat? How you actually feel should be the key to the decision.

Topsy34 Tue 10-Nov-15 10:31:27

Try feroglobin, i think there is a liquid formula, or go to gp and ask for liquid iron.

What is your Hb level?

Dachshund Tue 10-Nov-15 11:03:28

Thanks JJXM I agree with you that it's about symptoms and I really don't have any, I had fatigue in the first trimester but since then have had my normal energy levels, no breathlessness or anything. I feel fine!

Topsy my HB is 95g/l as written in my notes. I've noticed on here others have a different sounding scale but that's all the midwives have told me!

Dachshund Tue 10-Nov-15 11:05:55

Oh and no I really can't take any tablets at all blush I've tried and tried over the years and have come to the conclusion it must be a psychological thing as I can obviously swallow food! I end up gulping a whole litre of water down and there's the pill still bobbing around in my mouth sad

I've luckily only had to take anti-biopics once in my life and in order to take those I had to open the capsules and pour it into a yogurt...

dizzylemon Tue 10-Nov-15 11:27:26

I think Iron Tablets might be ok to chew with food. I have to do this with the normal prenatal vitamins as they are just too massive!

Topsy34 Tue 10-Nov-15 11:33:19

I cant find the info I'm thinking of, but i seem to recall that the hemoglobin level is more important than the iron level?

Not sure , but I'll keep looking!

Jeffreythegiraffe Tue 10-Nov-15 12:45:55

95 will be the haemaglobin level. The other one they look at is the ferritin level which is your iron stores.

So for example my Hb is ok but my iron stores are quite low. So I have to take iron tablets to get my ferritin back up to normal.

I think you can get liquid iron from the health food shops.

The risk is more for after you give birth as far as I'm aware, incase you bleed, which is what happened to me. Hence my hb dropped very low as it was low anyway.

mrsdiddlydoo Tue 10-Nov-15 15:49:04

Floradix is a natural kind of liquid iron you can get from health shops. My iron levels are always low and in this pregnancy I've managed to not drop in levels thanks to it, but given the amount if time you have, I'd recommend trying to find a way to take the tablets. Could you try in a mouthful of food? Or go back to your gp and ask them if there are other options available.

Dachshund Tue 10-Nov-15 21:13:37

Thanks all, will go pick up some liquid iron tomorrow and give my midwife a call.

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