Pregnancy Forum - Anemia
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Anemia

Anemia



What is Iron Deficiency Anemia? How is it treated?

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when there is not enough iron in the blood. Iron is an important building block for hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen.

In pregnancy, the amount of blood in the body must increase by almost 50% to support the growing baby. As a result, the mother`s body starts to make blood at a faster pace than it is accustomed to. Sometimes the need for iron is greater than the amount stored in the body. The result is iron deficiency anemia. Approximately 20% of pregnant women have anemia.

How Will I Know if I am Anemic?

Most of the time women do not realize that they are anemic. Because anemia is so common, doctors and midwives usually check the blood for anemia during the first prenatal visit. Sometimes they will repeat the test around 28 weeks of pregnancy, or whenever there is a concern that the woman may be anemic.

The most common symptom of anemia is excessive tiredness. If anemia is severe, women may also experince dizziness, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, pale skin or shortness of breath.

How is Anemia Treated?

Anemia that is caused by lack of iron is usually treated with iron tablets. If your doctor or midwife prescribes iron, take it with food to prevent nausea. Avoid taking iron with milk because the calcium prevents it from being used by your body. On the other hand, taking your iron pill with orange juice, grapefruit juice or another source of vitamin C will help the iron absorb easier. If you are borderline anemic or the anemia is not severe enough to require iron supplements, your doctor may ask that you consume a diet that is full of iron-rich foods. (See list below)

Sometimes the iron tablets can make your bowel movements dark-colored or even black. This color is from extra iron that was not absorbed in your body. It is not dangerous. Iron may also cause constipation or diarrhea. Talk with your doctor or midwife if this is a problem for you.

What Can I Do to Prevent Anemia?

The best sources of iron are the foods you eat. By eating foods that are high in iron and vitamin C, you may be able to prevent anemia. Some iron-rich foods are:

  • Red meats
  • Liver
  • Dried beans or tofu
  • Dried fruits (raisins, prunes, apricots)
  • Leafy green vegetables (broccoli, spinach)
  • Iron-enriched bread, pasta, and cereal
  • Eggs







Comments: Anemia

Comments 1 to 24 of about 36.
1 Next


luckysarah *PINK* - 842 days ago.
I am 17 weeks and I have been anemic pretty much since the beginning of my pregnancy. My levels have been dropping and not improving with oral iron, so I was told I would have to do iron IV infusions. I was very scared and did not know what to expect as far as side effects or reactions. I had my first infusion 5 days ago and besides the pain from having a needle in my hand for three hours it wasn't that bad. I rejected taking the benadryl unless I started to have allergic reaction syptoms. The first day I was very tired afterwards, but I have gradually began to feel better. I go for another one in two days and I hope to start feeling better and better and less sick/tired. Anyways I just wanted to share my experience if anyone is facing iron infusions and they don't know what to expect. Message me anytime if you want to talk about it more! =)

phinanj - 1442 days ago.
can anaemia lead to of pregnancy? i lost my baby at 26weeks and was said to have suffered cardiac anaemia cos my heart was enlarged before the heartbeat stopped.

DylansMama272008 - 1498 days ago.
So I recently found out I am anemic and I'm 30 weeks pregnant. The doctor said my iron is so low they recommend that I do Venofer which is an iron infusion. I am supposed to do one of three tomorrow. Has anyone ever done this? I'm so nervous!! I have been reading online about all the side effects (which I know I shouldn't freak myself out) but I'm really scared. I have had 2 miscarriages in the past and I'm so nervous to put anything in my body since I don't know what it will do to the baby...someone gimme advice. =)

sasha007800 - 1610 days ago.
Well Jessica as long as u take your iron u should be fine. I am anemic to, i get really weak and dizzy. with my last pregnancy 2 years ago. I was so dizzy i fainted and hit my head. Wen i gave birth I had to have a blood transfusion(yuk) dat was gross, but it help me :-). I was so mad, my doc say i wont make it without da blood.

JessicaC2010 - 1627 days ago.
I am 17 weeks and 1 day pregnant and last week my doctor told me i am anemic. im very tired i want to sleep all the time. i get dizzy really bad. im taking 2 iron pills a day one in the morning and one in the evening and my prescribed prenatal vitamins also contian iron. we think im more anemic than my doc is saying but she does not want to worry she will prbably test my blood again soon.

tripsontheway - 1670 days ago.
Well I'm 27 weeks with triplets on the way. They can't seem to control the anemia. My hemoglobin went from 8.0 to 7.3 in just a week. I had an IV Iron transfusion on Wednesday and they ended up admitting me. I go back this Thursday and if my levels have not increased they are going to start blood transfusions. I'm really nervous about getting someone else's blood.....not so much for me, but for my three unborn angels.

Lissie**** - 1680 days ago.
My babies have been very ill off and on the past couple of months. We found out they are anemic. The doctor says that their illness may have caused the anemia?? they both lost a lot of weight and wouldn't eat much. My son, 9 months now, has been eating very well for the past week and has gained back a pound! My daughter, 2 years old, is still not eating well. I don't know what to do for them. Poor little things.

jessica ruiz - 1705 days ago.
the good thing is my girl is healthy...it's just im not.. im eating enough where she is getting what she needs , but im suffering so that is why i have to start getting all the right foods in me , so i can be in better shape to take care of her when she is born and have more energy

jessica ruiz - 1705 days ago.
yeah i almost past out at the mall , and im pretty sure that i am anemic..i have a history of it...but i thought because i was doing better this pregnancy i would be fine...and now my lips are pale white and im having issues , so i am going to tell my doctor today when i see him. im due may 17, 2010 and im really excited. i just hope it's not to late to make things better for her. i will feel bad if anything happens to my little girl.

jaygee - 1802 days ago.
Anemia is pretty common between weeks 28 and 32. This is due to an increase in maternal blood volume. By week 32 iron levels usually stabilize. Anyone who is showing signs of anemia, I would recommend a product called Floradix. It is an herbal iron supplement that won't cause constipation or any other intenstinal issues. It is in available in most health food stores and online. Tastes a wee bit yucky, but not too bad.

mommyofaizen010910 - 1813 days ago.
Hey I'm in my 31st week and I was told like almost two weeks ago that I have anemia. It's my first pregnancy and I was so scared so I cried like a little girl. I was told that I wasn't that bad I just need to eat healthier but Omg was I scared. Hope it can go away before my baby boy is born 01.08.10

lmt1411 - 1844 days ago.
UK girls - My iron levels were getting very low & my MW suggested SpaTone (http://www.nelsonsnaturalworld.com/en/uk/our-brands/spatone/ - available from Boots). I have 1 in the morning b4 work & 1 about 4pm for a wee boost. I have had none of the usual tummy probs associated with iron supplements. Highly recommended!!

vodka82 - 1872 days ago.
claie defo go an get checked out hunny x

claire louise - 1872 days ago.
I'm worried as know my iron is low but worried it's gotton worse as I'm dizzy with fast heartbeat and shortness of breath. I nearly passed out a few hours ago and dont know if I should go A&E.

Bri - 1914 days ago.
owensbaby2 - With my last pregnancy I was just slightly anemic. So, they gave me OTC pills. They sucked! Not only does pregnancy cause constipation but to add iron on top of it! UGH! I'm sorry you have to take them. I'm hoping that I'm not this time around too. Good Luck! They are awful. I could name a million reasons they suck. Constipation was just the worst.

kathy=^.^= - 1948 days ago.
my LO is 9 months and he had an iron test and it was at 10 they told me that it was low and i neede to call the dr. now im waiting to hear from the dr!!!! i wish they would call this is scaring me...

Diamond28 - 2004 days ago.
Well ladies thank you for posting your pregnancy symptoms. I know in the beginning that i was anemic but didnt know how being anemic could make my heart beat fast. I have had cardiac workup done and everything has came back ok just a mild case of MVP but my cardiologist told me that its nothing to be concern with and didn't give me any medication. But he did place me on Atenolol for my palpitations. I hope this all go away soon i am very tired and it makes me so scare of having these palpitations. I also take prenatal sometimes and Slow FE tablets. I think by reading these comments it makes me feel a little bit better.

furrymama - 2038 days ago.
Gamama - I get the iron infusions on a regualr basis too - every 6 months if I am doing well, but I have had it as frequently as 2-3 months. MIne isn't from gastric bybass, but because I have Chron's disease and can't otlerate oral iron supplements. My iron level after the treatment always goes up really well and I have lots of energy. I had a treatment right before i got pregnant, and I know my Doc was wanting to put off any extra infusions as long as possible during my pregnancy as it hasn't been around long enough to know for sure that it won't hurt the baby. I am a little worried though, as I really feel like my iron level is low - but I see him next week to check this, so I will know soon.

ubiquim - 2038 days ago.
Actually I am greek. thanks, I plan to look into it!! :)

combatchick09 - 2039 days ago.
if u are of greek decent like myself then you might want to be checked for Thalasemia which is pretty much a more severe case of anemia and often misdiagnosed as anemia.

gamama31791 - 2040 days ago.
actually no- just the same if not worse, which really sucks!

ubiquim - 2040 days ago.
gamama do you feel more energetic by taking the iron?

gamama31791 - 2041 days ago.
Unfortunately I am anemic due to gastric bypass surgery that I had 4 years ago. My iron has always been low but since being pregnant is lower then normal. my dr used to check iron the last time I was pregnant but that was almost 8 yrs ago. now they don't do it anymore. I had my sugar test done and THANKFULLY they realized it was pretty bad. It was 7.5 and found out the reason why I was tired, no energy, exhausted, and just couldnt motivate myself to do anything. The bad part is I am unable to take iron pills b/c I only have 1 1/2 ft intestines and IT WILL not absorb them. ( i have a small stomach and short intestines b/c that is part of the process of the gastric bypass) well I had to have an IV iron infusion treatment b/c that was the only way to get the iron in my body. They were really concerned b/c if I went into labor I could lose alot of blood and my blood type is O- and they have a very short supply of it. Now I find out I have to get this 8 hr treatment every year and B12 shots every month for the rest of my life. Too bad dr didnt tell me what I would have to go through for the rest of my life due to this surgery, not that it would matter. Now my oncology dr tells me that it will never get past a 11 and I will never be normal I guess. Well my iron is now 10.3 and he was ecstatic about it b/c I guess someone in my condition, thats pretty good. so the only way i can take vitamins or most medicines is through shots b/c im unable to get the right nutrients due to not being able to eat properly and keep it in me. So now I know why I am so tired all of the time.

aprilraine - 2042 days ago.
Jamie - try liquid instead of pill form, I know my body wouldn't absorb the pill form and would just turn my stools black, so my doctor switched me to liquid and my body absorbs it better, also I'm on a 150mg supplement.. so maybe talk to your dr about upping your dose?

aprilraine - 2044 days ago.
I noticed within a couple days, I wasn't as tired as usual.


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