Pregnant - Nursing - Possibly Anemic?




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Elladorine
09-10-2013, 01:44 PM
I am entering my third trimester this week and just had the obligatory run of blood tests on Friday. While I'm not scheduled to see my doctor again until next week, I have online access to my medical records and went over my test results last night. It looks like I'll have to be taking yet another 3 hour glucose test (I did early on in the pregnancy after getting a similar result of the 1 hour test), and both my hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are low.

I'm assuming that if any of these results were a major concern, I'd be hearing from my doctor before next week's appointment (which is still a possibility). Since I've been through the glucose issue before I'm not horribly concerned, but the idea of possibly being anemic is new and a little scary to me. I did a little reading about anemia during pregnancy on some reputable sites and many suggest cutting down the exercise as the issue basically amounts as a lack of oxygen. So I'm wondering if I should just take it easy until I see the doctor again? I'd planned on doing my usual workout at the gym today but after reading those lab results think I might be better off if I just stayed home.

I imagine I'll probably have to start taking iron supplements, but of course I'm waiting on what my doctor recommends so I don't overdo anything. Until now I felt I'd been doing ok diet-wise, taking my prenatals daily and eating a lot of iron-rich foods like beans and spinach. I'm now reading that iron is better absorbed with vitamin C and doesn't absorb as well with calcium, so I'm considering eating an orange with my breakfast (when I take my prenatal) and taking calcium with my lunch (the doctor already approved my calcium supplement since my prenatal is relatively low with it).

I was also wondering who else has gone through this? I'd appreciate hearing about other people's experiences. I've noticed that I've been extra tired in the past few weeks, but have been assuming it's a just a normal part of being pregnant. :^:

Thanks for reading! :hug:


IanG
09-10-2013, 06:18 PM
We had twins and low iron is common with that. The iron supplements should do the job but can make you constipated. We ended up using iron in water supplements which were easier on the stomach and digestion.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/spatone-pur-absorb-liquid-iron-supplement-28-pack/ID=prod6098034-product

newleaf123
09-10-2013, 07:25 PM
I was anemic during my 2nd pregnancy, found out at the first 6-week visit. I was exhausted all the time, and was waking up the next morning feeling more tired than when I went to bed. The dr put me on iron supplements for the remainder of the pregnancy and that was that. It was 13 years ago now, so I don't remember anything specific about doses, etc. I do remember the constipation though ;) small price to pay for building a baby - such an amazing thing!


zoesmom
09-10-2013, 07:56 PM
Third trimester already?!?!?!? Feels like you just found out a month ago...wow! That's all. I have no advise :D

Elladorine
09-11-2013, 02:37 AM
Thanks everyone! :hug: I got the call I was semi-expecting from the doctor's office today, but immediately got disconnected. And when I called back, no one had any clue why they called me! :dizzy:

We had twins and low iron is common with that. The iron supplements should do the job but can make you constipated. We ended up using iron in water supplements which were easier on the stomach and digestion.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/spatone-pur-absorb-liquid-iron-supplement-28-pack/ID=prod6098034-product
Ooh, thanks for that link, Ian! I forgot to mention that constipation is already a concern of mine and I worry a bit about having to take iron on top of what I already have to deal with (to give you an idea, my smoothies are now based with prune juice instead of water)!

I was anemic during my 2nd pregnancy, found out at the first 6-week visit. I was exhausted all the time, and was waking up the next morning feeling more tired than when I went to bed. The dr put me on iron supplements for the remainder of the pregnancy and that was that. It was 13 years ago now, so I don't remember anything specific about doses, etc. I do remember the constipation though ;) small price to pay for building a baby - such an amazing thing!
Thanks for the reply! I'm hoping this explains my extreme tiredness lately, and the occasional light-headedness I've been experiencing. And of course I'm hoping it'll be a simple fix by just taking iron supplements. I'm sure my doctor will gauge how much I need by my test numbers. :)

And let's hope my prune juice will continue to do the trick since I'm already dealing with constipation issues. :lol:

Third trimester already?!?!?!? Feels like you just found out a month ago...wow! That's all. I have no advise :D
Heh heh, thank you! :hug: Time certainly does fly, doesn't it? :)

CanadianMomma
09-12-2013, 09:53 AM
I had anemia with my last pregnancy (baby is 1 month old today!). I was started on a lower dose of elemental iron and then after more blood work my midwives advised me to take the larger dose. I was also told to take it with a glass of orange juice and to avoid milk around when I took the pills.

I had no problems with constipation but my energy was very lacking. I was EXHAUSTED and doing the dishes was an accomplishment. Since I've had the baby my energy levels are so much better. I did find that I had constant cravings for beef (I usually don't eat much red meat).. hamburgers especially. My midwives told me that since the body absorbs iron easier from animal sources than vegetable sources that it wasn't surprising.

Congrats on being in the final trimester, won't be long now you'll have a little baby in your arms!

Elladorine
09-12-2013, 01:12 PM
Congrats on your new baby, CanadianMomma! :hug:

Something else I've noticed is that I've been craving burgers lately too, probably just within the past three weeks or so. I typically don't eat much red meat either so it all makes sense now! I've been having those burgers here and there as I've been doing my best to listen to my body, and upon hearing this news I'll be all the more eager to have more. :lol:

I sure hope this exhaustion ends soon; as I've been saying before I was just assuming it's a normal part of being pregnant. I've also been light-headed on occasion and tend to forget things that just happened five minutes ago!

But I love feeling the little baby kicks and I'm anxious to meet him; I know all the exhaustion, craziness, and worry will be worth it. :)

Desiderata
09-12-2013, 01:30 PM
I'll second the "third trimester?!?" surprise - because of course, I am sure it matters a great deal to you that for me, your pregnancy is flying by. :lol:

Kidding aside - wanted to share one little recipe that has been really helpful for me, in the past. Beef-spinach meatballs - made in bulk, then frozen, so I can take a few out at a time. I call them my green little iron bombs. :D (OK, so eating little green balls of meat may not be for everyone... but they're delicious! Here's one recipe for an example: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/06/skinny-italian-spinach-meatballs.html)

Hope your energy levels improve!

Elladorine
09-12-2013, 02:39 PM
Desiderata- Well, it's happening in RL too! My SIL recently asked how far along I am and was shocked, she figured maybe 2-3 months? :lol:

And that recipe looks awesome! I love spinach so I'll definitely be adding those goodies to my grocery list so I can try out the meatballs soon! :D

CanadianMomma
09-14-2013, 01:11 AM
I had fairly frequent light headed moments when I was pregnant too, wouldn't surprise me if it was related to the anemia. I never experienced it in my first pregnancy.

I hope the exhaustion lets up for you, for myself I found that the day I had my little one I had more energy than I had for months. I was out of the hospital within 3 hours after giving birth.

Enjoy the hamburgers! I indulged in so many and felt much better if I ate a decent amount of red meat. I managed to keep my weight gain to 10 lbs so I didn't even need to feel guilty about it-ha!

Elladorine
09-16-2013, 04:35 PM
CanadianMomma, I'm hoping to keep my pregnancy gain 20 pounds or less, and I've gained half that so far. I've no clue what to expect in these last three months so we'll see what happens. :dizzy: I secretly hoped I'd only gain 11 (the minimum the nurses told me I should gain) but that seems to be out the window now. :lol:

I feel a little out of control sometimes. I've definitely been indulging more, and had to put the brakes on the added sugar I was suddenly and gratuitously allowing myself to have. :lol: I can't even explain the mental struggle I've recently been facing though. My first priority is making sure I eat enough for the baby, which in and of itself has been difficult after so much practice of "less is more." When I stand back to look at it objectively it seems silly, but having to up my calories between 2500-2800 is way out of my comfort zone after being used to just 1600 daily! I'd like to think of this as sort of a practice for eventual maintenance though, because I know I can't limit myself at 1600 calories forever.

I've really enjoyed indulging on the burgers though! :lol: And it must not be all in my head that I've been feeling a little better. :)

CanadianMomma
09-16-2013, 06:35 PM
10 lbs gain at the third trimester is great!

I've read that a lot of women don't gain much in the final months because your stomach ends up so compressed its hard to eat much, especially if you suffer from heart burn (I had it BAAAD). Some women even see their weight drop a bit.

I gained 5 of my 10 lbs in the last bit, but I'm pretty sure that was from water retention due in large part to the humidity.

I found one of my biggest challenges was that I started drinking my calories while I was pregnant. I would go through a liter of chocolate milk in a day... some times more:o. It helped my heart burn haha!

Can't use that excuse to explain the large amount of apple juice I also drank...

Drinking calories was a habit I gave up when I decided to lose weight. It's taken a lot of will power to cut down now.

You just have to keep in mind that the 9 months you are pregnant are like no other time in your life, normal rules don't apply. And that also goes for when you have a newborn... and a toddler... haha

Elladorine
09-16-2013, 09:36 PM
All my centering classmates (which is part of my prenatal care) envy my lack of heartburn. ;)

I've noticed I've had a huge appetite on some days, much more than I got used to when I was dieting and had cut simple carbs. I find myself hungry all the time most days and often fret about what to have for lunch and how much when I have no clue what might be for dinner. Then I have days where I'm hardly interested in eating and had to make myself eat something high-calorie in order to get enough in for the day. I miss being able to just eat light and not have to worry so much about either not getting enough for the baby or overindulging. :dizzy:

Luckily I never got back into the habit of drinking my calories, unless you count smoothies. I've definitely been adding more calories to them by basing them in juices (particularly prune in order to get things moving), almond milk, or whole milk instead of water like when I was concentrating on weight loss. Which is good for now, but it might e hard to switch back later! :lol:

Something I started up last month that I decided to put a stop to was ordering a 700 calorie treat from Coldstone! :o Hubby has been enthusiastic about going lately and I decided to indulge when I had the extra calories to spare, but sometimes I go over! I've since looked over their nutrition info more carefully and have decided I can order one of their smoothies the next time the hubby wants to go. ;) And I've figured out a lighter, no-sugar-added smoothie I can make at home that's similar to my favorite ice cream treat there (the coffee lovers).

I wonder if my stomach will feel compressed as well? Early on in the pregnancy, before I'd gained any weight or inches, I could no longer wear my newest (and smallest) jeans. They still fit the same, but after an hour or so, it felt like the contents of my stomach were being pushed up into my chest! It was very uncomfortable and I've been wearing elastic ever since. I feel a little weird about that because I made myself stop wearing elastic because years ago it was all I wore, and it helped contribute to my weight skyrocketing since it was easy to just turn a blind eye to my expanding waistline. But as you said, normal rules don't apply anymore. ;) And there's no way I'm turning a blind eye to my weight regardless since I still attend weekly meetings and do my best to stay conscious in general.

I guess my main issue is that I'd finally gotten all the mental work of eating better down into a neat little system, and getting pregnant threw a monkey wrench into the works. Which isn't a bad thing of course, it's just that I've had to rethink my entire approach and start from square one all over again! :dizzy:

But thank you for all your posts, they've definitely made me feel better and have given me a lot to consider. :hug: