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Low iron levels and birth centre!

(26 Posts)
AmyLouKin Fri 15-Jan-16 19:41:16

If anyone has experienced similar I would appreciate some advice!
I had a blood test a week and a half ago and the doctors advised iron tablets. I decided against them and have been taking floradix for a week instead, as I've been suffering from constipation and don't want to make it worse ( I know the tablets are known for causing constipation).
I saw the midwife today for my birth plan appointment and she said that if my iron levels are too low, I won't be able to go to the birth centre I want to give birth in! I'm really dissapointed by this as the local hospital isn't great!
She phoned me back this afternoon and said that the levels were actually too low ( I don't know the numbers involved as she didn't tell me) for the birth centre and to get another blood test at GP surgery in 2 weeks, which she will check when she is back from the surgery! I've been advised to eat tons of greens, spinach and broccoli too, which I will do.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and managed to turn around their iron levels with a similar liquid supplement and diet?

IAmAPaleontologist Fri 15-Jan-16 19:51:00

Low iron levels mean you are more likely to have excessive bleeding afterthe birth. Take the tablets! A post partum haemorrhage is rather worse than short term constipation.

whatevva Fri 15-Jan-16 19:53:00

Spinach is not all that bioavailable really. I would not bother with that. I think Popeye did too good a selling job on that.

Liver is the best thing (lamb, not pigs as that has too much vit A) - you could try a ready meal from waitrose or M&S if you don't like cooking it.

Egg on wholemeal toast with marmite is a good combination, although not all the iron in egg is available as you would like. You could have it for breakfast, with orange juice.

There is fortified cereal (small amounts)

It takes a while to get your levels up with tablets and non-animal sources. You need plenty vit C with it.

My iron levels were low with DS1, and I had pph, so I was a bit anaemic after I had him, and it was not the best start to motherhood sad so I would recommend doing what you can now.

Get some Movicol and glycerine suppositories in to to help with the constipation. I don't recommend that either wink

Luckystar1 Fri 15-Jan-16 19:55:21

^ agree. I tried to get mine up by diet and spatone alone, but it wasn't enough and I wanted the birth centre so I took the tablets! It was absolutely fine.

This time I started on spatone at 8 weeks to try and ensure no issues!

Good luck.

Luckystar1 Fri 15-Jan-16 19:56:12

I was agreeing with Pale

1frenchfoodie Fri 15-Jan-16 20:01:46

Take the tablets - or at the very least try them. I've been prescribed 2x 200mg tablets a day and have experienced no side effects. I did start off with just 1x a day for a few days to not shock my system but no idea if that was a factor.

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 15-Jan-16 20:36:29

Take the tablets! Or at the very least ask to try Ferrous Fumarate as it's easier on the stomach, and eat lots of fibre.

As a pp said, you could bleed a lot after birth.

Euripidesralph Fri 15-Jan-16 21:20:56

Another suggestion for spartone. .. I can't take ferrous sulphate and spartone didn't give me the side effects and my iron went up you can even get them in sainsbury

FatimaLovesBread Fri 15-Jan-16 21:29:15

I'd take the tablets to get the levels back up and then switch on to something like spatone once you've got them high enough.

I'm currently on 3x ferrous sulphate a day and no constipation thus far

FrancesHaHa Fri 15-Jan-16 21:32:09

Had exactly the same thing and took the tablets. Tried for ages on spinach, apricots, red meat etc, and got nowhere near the level.

Fairygodmotherx Fri 15-Jan-16 21:34:53

Another one advising you to take the tablets! You could also take a laxative (lactulose) which is what I'm currently taking along with the iron tablets and helps with the constipation. Good luck OP x

NotSoFancyNancy Fri 15-Jan-16 21:37:43

I don't think liver is recommended in pregnancy due to high vit A levels similar to pate, foie gras etc.

Blingygolightly Fri 15-Jan-16 21:43:03

Take the tablets! Each time with a high dose of vitamin C.

Don't want to scare you but my Pph was so bad that I needed blood transfusions after I gave birth to get my iron up. I hadn't taken the tablets.blush As someone else said, it wasn't the best start to motherhood.

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 15-Jan-16 21:44:03

yes take the tablets.
if you do get constipation plenty of fibre and fluids help, but not everyone gets side effects.

had low iron with dc1 (blood test didn't come back for aaages and then it was too late for levels to get back up before birth)
had a pph and felt like shit for a week after birth.
with dc2 I took over the counter supplements from the day of the positive test. much better experience all around.

43percentburnt Fri 15-Jan-16 21:44:29

2/3 spatone a day in orange juice plus a lot of orange juice and beetroot juice. Ferrous fumerate 2 doses in one go (it was hit or miss if I would vomit after this). No caffeine at all. I found raw kale easy to eat too, would prep and leave in a bowl to nibble on! Cashew nuts. I don't eat meat.

Ferrous fumerate is better than tablets but still regularly made me vomit. I was avoiding an iron infusion, the above concoction was sufficient and took approx 3 weeks to initially increase iron level by 1.7.

43percentburnt Fri 15-Jan-16 21:49:20

The consultant said I could take as much iron as I could manage (hence I took 3 spatone some days - more than the recommended dose).

whatevva Fri 15-Jan-16 21:53:39

I don't think liver is recommended in pregnancy due to high vit A levels similar to pate, foie gras etc.

Sadly, liver used to be fine, until they discovered there was too much vit A in pigs liver, due to the intensive rearing. I am not sure how that has spread to all liver and products etc, but hey ho! progress for you.

You are stuck with the tablets then.

Movicol is good for constipation, it is ok in pregnancy but some one will tell you not. Fibre like bran does not work for slow transit constipation, which is what it is in pregnancy. The progesterone slows the peristalsis, and this means more water is taken out in the colon. Plenty fruit and veg, and fluids.

TheOddity Fri 15-Jan-16 22:13:35

If you need to get your iron levels up for two weeks time for the blood test, take the tablets. Mine worked in a week, and by three weeks my iron levels were back to normal . Only side effect is my poo is a bit blacker blush but I'm not constipated or any of the the other horror stories you hear on here. I just take one tablet a day and it has made an enormous difference. I was taking spatone which did work to some extent but stopped for a bit as I had haemorroids and they hurt a lot, and I didn't want iron making me constipated. Stupid me. At this stage, most important thing is the birth, not iron tablet side effects. You will be better off without a blood transfusion in a good birthing centre, even if it means a couple of weeks with the tablets. Honestly, just take them.

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:36:02

Just to clarify on the Ferrous Fumarate (two in one go?!), I've been prescribed one pill 3 times a day, with food, with orange juice and a squirt of olive oil (helps the molecules bind). Also take Spatone twice a day as recommended on the box. Iron levels started going up after less than a week on this regime.

FoxgloveStar Sat 16-Jan-16 05:30:30

Take the tabs. I haven't experienced any side effects. If you do you can always stop them or treat the constipation. Low iron is bad for your baby and eating habits alone may not be enough.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:10:01

Low iron is bad for your baby

Only if it gets severe enough that you need transfusions. The reason mum feels so crap is because the baby is taking all her iron stores - the baby is generally A-OK while leaving mum feeling like death.

SmallGreenBouncyBall Sat 16-Jan-16 11:22:42

Low iron is bad for your baby

first of all low iron/anaemia is bad for the pregnant woman. baby takes what it needs like a little parasite

AmyLouKin Sat 16-Jan-16 18:16:27

Thanks for all the advice! I do appreciate it. I am feeling a little less tired (not that I felt that dreadful to begin with) after a week of the floradix I've been taking!
I was reluctant to take the iron tablets as I've suffered from constipation for years anyway and it's been worse since being pregnant! I hate it and it makes me really fed up. However after some of your stories I'll go have a chat with the doc and see what we can work out! Thanks very much. 😊

kate1516 Sun 17-Jan-16 12:14:50

I would take the tablets. If you are concerned re constipation then eat pots of stuff to make you go too. I handled being anaemic in my first pregnancy okay but was still low iron when I had the baby then had a haemorrhage and I honestly think it took me months to feel okay again even. Being anaemic with a small baby is really really hard. I felt dizzy standing up. Kept getting bugs. Got pnd. Obviously that is not definitely going to happen but coping with a newborn whilst feeling ill definitely contributes. In fact there are only two things going on my birth plan this time around and one of them is check my iron and give me a transfusion if it's really low lol.

MountainDweller Sun 17-Jan-16 12:47:11

If you are at risk of a pph why don't they just give you an iron transfusion?

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