Post # 1
I got the results of my blood work back last week and while I do not have gestational diabetes (woohoo), I did find out that I am anemic.
My OB prescribed me 325mg of ferrous sulfate a day….seems like a LOT of iron, but I have been taking it faithfully.
I haven’t been back for an office visit since finding out, so I’m wondering what is next.
How do they monitor this?
I’d love to hear others’ experiences with this.
Post # 3
I used to be anemic, not even close anymore. And I am not sure how thy monitor it, but there are other easy things you can do to increase your iron levels and % absorbed
You should go out and get, if you dont already have one, a cast iron pan and start cooking in it.
You dont absorb all the iron you take or eat. There are different kinds.
The bigger dose you have of iron, the less % is absorbed whichis why they recommend taking the supplements at different times of day to aid in its absorbtion. As well as eating dietary iron and cooking in a cast iron can add iron even to your green beans and cauliflower.
Post # 4
Anemia during pregnancy is very, very common. Your numbers of blood cells remain relatively the same, while the amount of water (and thus, volume) of your blood increases. Basically, it just gets diluted.
That does sound like a slightly higher dose of iron than I would expect, but it is nothing to be concerned about. It is important to take it as prescribed, however, because the number of red blood cells in your blood impacts your oxygen carrying ability, and the oxygen going to baby.
Your doctor will monitor your anemia by taking blood and checking your complete blood count (CBC), which will measure hemoglobin and hematocrit, as well as other measurements like the concentration of hemoglobin within each cell and the variation in size of red blood cells. (Your doctor uses these tests to determine what type of anemia you have.) It will take a couple of weeks for the iron to start working, and he may have you take it for the remainder of your pregnancy. Your doc will likely check your blood count every month or so.
In order for your medication to work the best, try to take it an hour before or two hours after meals, and avoid using antacids/coffee/tea/whole grain breads within an hour of taking it.
Post # 5
I had anemia but I think my experience was not typical. The oral supplements did nothing because I am also on antacids. Iron supplements need acidic environments to be absorbed and the antacids were preventing me from absorbing it. Also, oral supplements take months to raise your iron level. In the end, I had to get iron infusions to boost my iron levels because my iron and hemoglobin were plummeting to dangerous levels. Not to scare you– It wasn’t that bad and I think most people are able to stop the plummet with oral iron supplements.
Also, I was so exhausted my whole pregnancy and just felt terrible for a long time. Once my iron levels were back up (at 37 weeks! LOL) I finally felt great. So apparently it was the anemia all along. Other symptoms I had: wanting to chew ice, having smell cravings, and heart palpitations.
Make sure you do take the supplements because the further it progresses, the harder it is to treat and the worse you feel.
Post # 6
Keep in mind that most of that 325mg isn’t actual iron. If my memory serves (it is Friday night after a long week, after all LOL), fumarate has about 60 mg of iron per 325mg pill. That is well within the recommended doses for pregnancy-related anemia (which is 50-120mg iron a day).
Also, it all depends on when in pregnancy the blood was drawn. Given that they tested for GDM at the same time, I’m suspecting around 28 weeks, which is when the hemoglobin is starting to hit it’s lowest point and will then return up around 32-34 weeks. Depending on *how low* it was, supplementation may or may not be indicated.
Oral supplementation with iron will generally produce results in 2-3 weeks and I would imagine that your Ob will re-test your hemoglobin again in about a month.
Post # 7
I found out I was severly anemic as well when I was pregnant. I took the iron supplements, which caused extreme constipation:( Ugh it was awful. There was no follow-up blood work or anything for me, just my OB asking if I was taking the pills.
Post # 8
I’ve been anemic since just around the start of my third trimester. I started off taking Fluoradix, but it wasn’t strong enough so my midwives switched me to Proferrin. I’d love to tell you how much each pill is, but it doesn’t say…. They’re fair sized pills though. I take one in the morning and two at night. I have a ridiculously sensitive stomach and the first week I got a bit constipated, but after that I’m 100% back to normal which really surprised me.
Ive gone from being omg-drag-my-feet-do-I-really-have-to tired, to feeling really energetic and good, even at 5 days overdue now 😉 Like others have mentioned, don’t take your supplement within 2 hours of calcium, and try to take it with some vitamin C (a pill or a glass of OJ).
i had one follow up blood test after being on the Floradix for a month or so, but nothing since. I am really dying to know where my levels are at though! As silly as it sounds, trust me, you’ll know when it’s working. One day you’ll just realize you had an AWESOME few days/week with a lot of energy, and that’s when you know your iron has kicked in!!
Post # 9
@tnbellebee: Yes, this happened to me too. After 4 weeks of taking the ferrous tablets I had another blood test and my iron had gone right up. I’ve been advised to continue taking it throughout the pregnancy. It can be important for blood clotting I think general energy for you. Other things to eat are green leafy veg and nuts and steak (if you eat that).
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
When I found out I was anemic during pregnancy, they had me take iron and that was the end of it. There wasn’t any follow up. I imagine if I felt faint or something, then they might have pricked me again.
Post # 11
Thanks for all the replies!
@babybuzz: I am looking forward to that! I am usually extremely energetic and I have had NO energy. Yesterday I had a day where I felt like getting out and doing some shopping, etc. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but it was huge for me. For the last several weeks, I’ve been just going to work and then crashing at home in the afternoons and on the weekends. Hoping it is the iron kicking in!