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Why am I taking Iron tablets? What if I don't?

(9 Posts)
Zil131 Wed 11-Nov-09 13:57:33

OK I know the simple answer to this - because at my 28 week check I had low iron.
But (a few weeks on) the constipation and piles have now reached critical levels and I can't stand to take anymore!
So what if I just don't take them - am I harmng me, or my baby?
Given that I feel fine, can I just bin them; and not bother having to make a docs appointment / go to the pharmacist to get an alernative...?

TheMightyToosh Wed 11-Nov-09 13:59:17

Don't mess with iron levels without taking advice.

Levels that are too low OR too high can be dangerous to both you and the baby.

Definitely go and see your GP/midwife if you want to discuss stopping the tablet - they might reduce your dose. But you shouldn't do this yourself because you can't know what your levels are like now without a blood test.

Good luck!!

PrettyCandles Wed 11-Nov-09 14:06:20

One of the reasons you feel fine is probably the fact that you are taking iron! Anaemia leaves you feeling utterly utterly awful. Don't mess with it, if only for that reason, let alone the fact that it might harm your baby and leave you vulnerable to PPH after the birth.

If the tablets are constipating you, then go to a healthfood shop and buy a preparaton containing any one of the following:

Iron Bisglycinate
Gentle Iron
Chelated Iron

The form of iron supplement taht is prescribed by the NHS is ferrous sulphate, which is cheap but constipating and poorly absorbed by the body. The forms I mention are different, more expensive, but don't upset your digestion.

prettyinpunk Wed 11-Nov-09 15:44:14

I'm coming up to 32 weeks and was contacted by the mw last week about needing to start taking ferrous sulphate - not for low iron levels in my blood, but for something to do with a low result of whatever it is that helps blood to clot.

I am suffering from horrid piles too (posted last week for advice on that one!!) and am really, really loathe to start taking the FS tablets as am prone to constipation too. I have put it off so far and have been trying to eat more iron-rich foods (not easy!) but may try and buy some of that spatone stuff, which i remember taking in a previous pg.

lubeloo72 Wed 11-Nov-09 23:06:58

Try Spatone which is a 100% natural iron supplement and easily absorbed without side effects. You can get it from Boots. Quite expensive (about £8 for 28 sachets of which you take one or two a day) but probably worth considering.
I've been feeling really low on energy and guessing it might be iron levels as I'm 34 weeks pregnant (due to have blood tested tomorrow) and now feel so much better- putting it down to the Spatone!

Good luck!!

Teapot13 Wed 11-Nov-09 23:47:25

I believe that you also need the iron because the baby needs to store iron in advance of birth because it won't get quite enough from its own diet (even from breastmilk) until it starts on solid food. Taking iron allows the baby to build up the reserve it needs.

I didn't like taking iron, either, because of the problems you've described. I started taking the pills every other day, and tried to make sure I ate more iron-rich foods, and when the levels were re-tested it was fine. One of the foods I added was a glass of prune juice every day -- I read that it's high in iron, plus it helps counteract the side effects of the pills. Another thing to remember is that there are a lot of things that interfere with iron absorption, so take your iron pills (and prune juice) on an empty stomach, or with something that has vitamin C. One thing that's hard for me is avoiding black tea when I take the iron -- that's something that prevents absorption.

(All of this is based on internet research, so definitely ask your MW!)

Zil131 Thu 12-Nov-09 13:05:58

Thanks all. I popped in at the doctors this morning, and he just gave me a big bottle of lactulose (another cheap fix??)
I will try this for a dew days, if not I'll go and get something nicer!
I do tend to have low iron anyway, and as I can't have my regular dose of liver, I guess I better keep going (especialy as I had a large PPH after DC1); and as Pretty Candles commented, I probably do feel find because of the (evil) iron!!

MrsHappy Thu 12-Nov-09 19:05:30

Speak to your MW, but she may well recommend taking Spatone instead. It is more easily absorbed than the iron pills, and 2 sachets a day got my iron up from 10 at 28 weeks to 12.9 by the time I delivered. Fab stuff, and does not bung you up.

lucy101 Thu 12-Nov-09 19:11:50

I am taking lactulose - I actually think it is my saviour! - as well as spatone.

I felt dreadful (exhausted and out of breath) until I realised I could be anaemic... and even with taking the spatone (2 sachets a day) I am still borderline anaemic from the bloodtests... but my midwife is happy that I continue doing this as she thinks spatone is the best thing to take.

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