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Supporting an Anaemic Mum to be

(11 Posts)
expectantdave Sun 10-Jul-16 14:57:19

Hello all,

My fiance is exactly 9 weeks pregnant today on our second attempt after having an early miscarriage earlier in the year.

On Friday, our last day holidaying in Wales, she had a heavy dark red bleed as we returned to the caravan. She had a persistent but light bleed throughout Friday evening and yesterday -- enough to need a panty liner -- which was a bit redder than before. Overnight and this morning she's been fine, but this afternoon she's had a wee bit of a bleed again accompanied by dizziness, feeling a bit icky and a bit more breathless than usual.

She's anaemic, so we're understandably on pins at the moment as it's a case of working out whether she's at risk of loosing the baby, or if it's merely the anaemia messing with her. I'm beginning to suspect that it's more the anaemia as she has had no excruciating pains to indicate an MC, plus she's still exhibiting all the usual signs of being pregnant.

I've made several phone calls to our local early pregnancy unit who have suggested it could be a cervical bleed which is actually quite common. I've also spoken to an out-of-hours mid-wife who seems to think it's her anaemia running riot. Probably a combination of the two, or so I hope.

We have our planned first ante-natal appointment on Wednesday, and now have the first scan on Friday after the sister at the early pregnancy unit booked us in for one as a result of me reporting this heavy bleed to her on Friday. She'll be almost 10 weeks when we have the scan.

I've got her on the Seven Seas pregnancy supplement tablets (folic, vitamins, iron combo) and the out-of-hours mid-wife I spoke to today suggested liquid iron as a top up which is something we're buying this afternoon while the shops are still open!

I've seen numbers of 60 to 120mg banded about on various reputable pregnancy advice websites as a good target for iron intake when the mum-to-be is anaemic. It seems right to me as she's probably only getting 30-40 maximum with a combination of her diet (I feed her Kale every waking second of the day...) and the pregnancy supplement.

Has anyone experienced this? Any advice would be very welcome as I have one very scared mum-to-be to look after, and yours truly is just about holding together himself!

I'm concerned as I feel if she gets any worse I may have to make a gut call and take her to A&E, but that could be overkill and stress her out too much. For the moment it may just be that I need to give her iron levels a right good boost!


broccoliflowers Sun 10-Jul-16 15:03:01


I'm so sorry to hear your wife is unwell and I do hope she feels better soon. The only advice I can give regarding iron is that prescribed iron tablets are 200 mg twice a day - so 400mg in total. So in the mean time go for the higher dose but I do think seeing a dr and getting proper bloods etc done asap would be the best idea. I hope the bleed is nothing serious and she feels better soon.

expectantdave Sun 10-Jul-16 15:42:08

Thanks broccoliflowers. I'll see what dosage the liquid iron is shortly as we're about to buy some.

She'll be getting bloods etc on Wednesday morning so my dilemma is whether to wait till then or try and force the issue tomorrow. I'll make a decision tonight.

passportmess Sun 10-Jul-16 15:48:42

I'm not a medic but I take liquid iron (made by a German company and often recommended by midwives). After a few days I feel terrific. With this brand you take it twice daily. I sometimes drink orange juice with it as vit c helps with iron absorbtion. You aren't meant to take any food or caffeine for 30 mins after so iron can be absorbed. The liquid iron is really great and fast acting. It doesn't cause constipation like the tablets. Good luck.

expectantdave Sun 10-Jul-16 16:05:36

thanks passportmess, we've got three boxes of the Spatone one-a-day sachets that go in water. Will see how that goes but I'm going to keep a look out for something stronger as I think a bigger hit is needed.

passportmess Sun 10-Jul-16 16:18:20

I've heard spatone is very good. I'm sure your midwife has given good advice and your partner may be feeling much better by the appointment on Weds. It takes a little while to get the reserves up but I would think Spatone would do it. Congrats to you both on the baby. Take care.

idlevice Sun 10-Jul-16 16:36:12

Spatone is not effective if the anaemia is severe. The best type of absorbable iron is in "heme" form. You can get supplements in this form from health shops or online. Upset stomachs/heartburn in pregnancy can lead to less iron being absorbed from digested sources. If this is the case then iron injections or IV transfusions can be taken.

Also you should find out whether there is low circulating iron (haemoglobin) or low iron stores (ferritin), or both, & address as appropriately. The former is generally not so serious & simple supplements should address it over time.

Annoyingly when one is anaemic blood clotting is reduced which is why it is especially important to get it sorted before delivery. The effects of a PPH will be more detrimental if anaemic beforehand & recovery longer.

Hopefully this will be a successful pregnancy. I had heavy bleeding with my first for just longer than the first trimester & then with my second I was severely anaemic but both babies were fine.

broccoliflowers Sun 10-Jul-16 16:39:19

I agree with idlevice, spatone was not enough for me. And yes there's a difference between the types of iron measured in blood. (Very simply)

expectantdave Sun 10-Jul-16 17:45:15

idlevice, thank you so much for that. Really informative. I'm glad to hear that you had two successful pregnancies, even with the bleeds and anaemia.

We've got a couple of boxes of Spatone (quite surprised it was only 5mg per sachet) so she's going on three-per-day for the rest of the week until we're prescribed or pointed toward a bigger hitting alternative. Might be a good introduction to having more iron, if nothing else.

For the benefit of anyone reading this thread I stumbled across this after a bit of a Google: guidelines from the British Society of Haematology regarding iron deficiency during pregnancy:

The 'summary of recommendations' is very informative (no real need to read beyond it to be honest), if you can avoid some of the jargon. In particular the line about 100-200mg being a recommended dose of iron was useful. Hopefully I can get this resolved over the course of the week and get her back to full strength.

expectantdave Sun 10-Jul-16 17:48:57

Goes without saying that the above does not constitute proper medical advice, even though it IS from an official source!

KayTee87 Sun 10-Jul-16 18:57:42

Sorry she's not feeling well. Bleeding in early pregnancy is quite common and could be nothing at all, there would be nothing A+E would be able to do. you'll get some answers at the scan (I know it's horrible to wait)

I'm 38+ weeks pregnant and anaemic, I'm on 630mg of ferrous fumarate per day - I'm not sure you can buy that amount over the counter though.

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