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Can any reassure me about b12 deficiency?(7 Posts)
Had routine bloods at 31 weeks and was told I was borderline.
Re-tested at 34 weeks. I am now 35 weeks and had a letter to say I need a telephone appointment with my GP to discuss the latest results.
Phones the GP surgery and the telephone appointment isn't until next week. I'll be 36 weeks. I said I was really worried about it they said I'm low in vitamin b12 and to wait for the telephone appointment.
Just a bit worried as I had a look at the NHS advice as it said:
If you're pregnant, not having enough vitamin B12 can increase the risk of your baby developing a serious birth defect known as a neural tube defect. The neural tube is a narrow channel that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord.
Examples of neural tube defects include:
spina bifida – where the baby's spine doesn't develop properly
anencephaly – where a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull
encephalocele – where a membrane or skin-covered sac containing part of the brain pushes out of a hole in the skull.
Problems in childbirth
A lack of folate during pregnancy may increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or having a low birthweight.
The risk of placental abruption may also be increased. This is a serious condition where the placenta starts to come away from the inside of the womb wall, causing tummy (abdominal) pain and bleeding from the vagina.
Neural tube defects
As with a vitamin B12 deficiency, a lack of folate can also affect an unborn baby's growth and development in the womb (uterus). This increases the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida developing in the unborn baby.
Can anyone offer any reassurance or is there anyone who experienced low b12 during pregnancy?
In my experience, the low levels of vit B12 folate have greater adverse effects in the very early stages of pregnancy.
If your scans didn’t flag up any problems, I’d relax.
Also, I’d ask for vitamin injections for my own health, as you’ll need your energy after the baby’s born. How’s your haemoglibin count?
Your GP will probably offer vitB12 injections, and I’d accept if I were you.
It’s easy to get worked up but afaik you’re well over the neural tube developmental phase at 36 weeks- that’s the first free weeks of pregnancy! If your scans haven’t seen anything untoward, then you’re baby is fine.
Thanks so much, yes I will take anything they offer me!
Had a fair few growth scans over the course of the pregnancy due to Low PAPP-A and so they thought he might be not grow properly (everything is looking good so far) and so I'm sure it would have been spotted by now! Didn't think of that!
It would be unusual for B12 to be tested at all in pregnancy normally unless there were other markers on your bloods which indicate there might be a problem - namely having larger than normal red blood cells which occurs in a condition called megaloblastic anaemia - which is v. rare. Microcytic anaemia (where the red blood cells are smaller than normal) is much more common and usually caused by iron deficiency.
Much more likely is that the levels are physiologically low - because your circulating blood volume increases so much in pregnancy, the concentration of B12 measured on a blood test reduces due to dilution, and also the foetus has a certain B12 requirement, though this is a small percentage of your own levels. If this is the case, it’s completely normal, and the reason why the test isn’t normally done.
What’s probably happened is that someone has run a standard panel of tests for anaemia, so the test has been done erroneously (I’m a doctor - it happens occasionally!), and unless your red blood cells are large (which will be easy for the docs to work out as it’s a standard part of a full blood count which will have been done as part of your routine bloods) then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Any neural tube defects would almost certainly have been picked up at your 20 week scan where they do a careful examination of the spine. If you do have actual low B12 levels then replacement is straightforward and safe in pregnancy.
So, in essence, there most likely isn’t a problem at all! Try not to worry!
Thank you so much! That's really put my mind at rest!
I should add - if the levels are physiologically low and not because of a deficiency - they will return to normal after birth and you don’t need supplementation.
Before I knew I was pregnant in March 2014 I fell ill and needed immediate blood transfusions as my haemoglobin dropped to 50 (meant to be 150+) and after getting that sorted I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia and require the B12 (hydroxcobalamin) injections every 2 weeks.
B12 is done via blood test but there must have been a trigger for b12 anemia to be raised in concern.
If you do need the injections then it's 6 injections in 2 weeks to start then one every 3 months for the rest of your nature puff.
My symptoms are sheer exhaustion, lighthead/dizziness, breathing issues and dry mouth from hell.
Defo phone doctor and ask for a phone consult regarding test results or get your midwife to go through things and if medication is required then it can be organised.
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