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anyone struggling with pregnancy anaemia and not tolerating iron well?

(8 Posts)
Floozie66 Sun 01-Jan-17 11:31:16

have been taking iron tablets now for two weeks, do not feel any better if fact feel worse as now have started be sick again and worse heartburn, not sleeping, exhausted as soon as i get out of bed (31 weeks). Worried that if iron levels do not pick up this will affect BF again as it did with previous child (2nd). How bad does it need to get before they offer injections or some other alternative, and has anyone had blood retested to see if iron levels are improving (even if you feel like they are not) I know this didnt happen last time with me and MW didnt even seem to think the reason i was struggling to BF was related to anaemia, i didnt know myself, just looked it up on internet this time round as 1st baby no problem with milk production. any advice appreciated

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 01-Jan-17 12:19:51

Try a different form of iron. NHS prescribes the cheapest, ferrous sulphate, which is also the least well-tolerated and the poorest-absorbed.

I bought chelated iron or bisglycinate, and the difference was amazing. Within days I stopped being constipated and the nausea stopped, and my next blood test a few weeks later showed that my iron levels were back within the healthy range. Also tiredness reduced and I finally felt the second-trimester 'glow'.

Chloe09 Mon 02-Jan-17 10:28:47

I have been put on iron tablets last week (at 33wks) as I was feeling very woozy, lightheaded and my levels were borderline! However since taking them I have had days I feel fine then I hit the wall and feel awful again, plus my bowels are horrendous! I'm either constipated or it goes right through me! confused

I would speak to the doctor as they have told me if it doesn't settle down this week they can give me something else instead. Maybe ask them to test your levels again if you're still concerned

Note3 Mon 02-Jan-17 10:41:10

I feel your pain. I had severe anemia as my midwife failed to bother checking my results at 28 wks so I was only picked up at 36 week appointment when I'd got so bad I was showing all sorts of symptoms. My level dropped to 79 which explained a lot! I was put on 3 iron pills a day and felt markedly better about 3 weeks later. I felt very sad that I'd been so unwell through pregnancy so didn't enjoy it as much and didn't get to enjoy dedicating time to my other children before baby arrived as all I wanted to do was sit down and sleep.

I was extremely nauseous about many foods in pregnancy and could only eat in tiny amounts so a lot of the tips didn't help me for boosting iron but there's lots you can try.

- iron fortified brekkie cereals
- drink oj with your iron pill and if you're feeling nauseous with it then don't take it on an empty stomach
- completely stay away from tea as it stops iron absorption and I think milk also inhibits iron but you'd best double check that bit
- spinach, broccoli and apricots are rich in iron and some nuts

I have been severely anemic in two pregnancies now and on the first occasion my iron level had dropped to 40 as again hadn't been picked up then I lost lots of blood in labour. They wanted to transfuse me as apparently thats at fainting level but I declined and built it up with iron pills and iron rich food whilst breastfeeding.

To reassure you low iron did not affect breastfeeding at all for me though I'll admit I felt low, weak and weepy for a couple of weeks until levels rose.

Note3 Mon 02-Jan-17 10:46:05

Oh and if the pill you're on is really not working out for you (after you're tried with oj and with food) then there are other ones you can try but they're not as potent.

With regard to your question about levels, it varies according to your nhs trust but as a guide it's usually at either 100 or 110 that they treat as 120 is considered 'normal' though everyone naturally has differing levels. That's why when my levels dropped to 40 and 79 they were alarmed and pushed for high iron supplements although wierdly I was functioning better and making less of a song and dance about how awful I felt than my friend whose iron had dropped to 112! Affects everyone differently.

SandysMam Mon 02-Jan-17 16:44:23

Make sure they test your Ferratin levels to check it IS iron deficiency anaemia. I was pumped full of tablets and my hb got lower and lower, turned out to be severe B12 and folate deficiency anaemia instead so the iron was doing bugger all! Also make sure they check kidney function. Hope you feel better soon.

PacificDogwod Mon 02-Jan-17 16:51:18

Are you anaemic, iron deficient or have iron deficiency anaemia?
They are all related but NOT the same thing.

Iron is a difficult mineral to absorb (hence the side effects) and a difficult one to measure.
Also, in pregnancy blood volume rises so relatively speaking blood counts goes down a bit (dilution effect in later pregnancy).

Ferrous sulfate or ferrous fumigate are most commonly prescribed.
Make sure to take it with Vitamin C - either a fizzy tablet or even just fresh orange juice. Vit C aids absorption and helps to reduce side effects.

If you are still feeling rubbish do get your blood repeated, also ask for folate and Vit B12 checks (low level of either of those can also cause anaemia).

Floradix and Spatone are rather low in iron and may not be enough if you are in fact iron deficient.
Taking even just ONE iron tablet/day is more effective.

Feeling tired and rubbish in pregnancy can have so many reasons, and even if your are anaemic, that may not be the only thing making you feel terrible.
I assume you have had your thyroid function checked too?

Go back and speak to your MW or GP again.

Floozie66 Tue 03-Jan-17 13:59:04

Thanks for all advice . Levels were reported as 90 but didnt get results for two weeks so think they had probably dropped more as was feeling much worse. Will get bloods retested have switched in meantime to combo of spatone in morning and nhs pill in evening until i see gp and that seems to be stopping the nausea and vomiting. I think my mw said i had iron def anaemia. Yes it really spoils the pregnancy and feel that my other littlies didnt have as much fun at christmas due to me having no energy to do much at all 😕

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