Anemic – Input Needed!

4 03 2010

I went to my doctor’s office yesterday because I felt like complete and total shit.  They did a blood test – and I am anemic.  My count was 9.9 (9.5-11 is mild) so I was happy to be in the mildly anemic range still…and there is not enough time between now and delivery to get my stores up SO the nurse said that they will have blood on hand during my delivery and that I will more than likely need a transfusion – the blood loss during delivery will put my levels way down…

Does anyone else have any experience with this????

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19 responses

4 03 2010
K

Oh that stinks that they picked up on this now!? I guess that’s why you could relate to me with the ridiculous exhaustion/fatigue. My friend told me that iron pills are only 10-15% absorbed by our bodies. In the meantime while you wait for delivery try eating a very heavy iron-rich diet perhaps? Spinach, red meat, etc? Those will go a lot further than supplements will especially when there is so little time left. My OB said it takes six weeks for the pills to have noticeable effect.

4 03 2010
K

AND luckily you are not badly anemic according to your numbers- so hopefully maybe supplements plus diet changes will be all you need to help bring them up a bit out of the borderline range.

4 03 2010
Miss MVK

I am slightly anemic too but never had any discussion about blood transfusions for my delivery? I was just told to take SlowFE iron supplements (and if you take these you have to take Miralax too, just trust me on this one)! But maybe since you are delivering so soon (!!!) there isn’t enough time to get your iron levels up?

Thinking of you all the time my friend!

4 03 2010
Maria

I don’t have any advice on the anemia end, but I did have blood transfusions before. They are really no big deal, if you will even need them.

I hope these babies come soon so you can get your body feeling normal again. Hugs!

4 03 2010
mo

Is there a family member who could donate? anonymous blood is fine too but i always feel a bit more comfortable receiving blood from a known source. sorry you’re facing this. no wonder you’re exhausted. two full-term babies in there plus anemia! hang in there.

mo

4 03 2010
Katie

I don’t have any advice, but I wanted to comment to give you some support. I can understand how scary that must be! I am glad they discovered this BEFORE your delivery though, so appropriate measures can be taken.

4 03 2010
Cady

They told me I was anemic after I gave birth. At my 6-week checkup, I think my number was 9 or so. I’m on iron pills until I go back next month. I’ll be thinking about you…a blood transfusion would scare me!

4 03 2010
Valerie

I was horribly anemic thru my whole twin pregnancy. I was on iron the whole time but they were a pain to take. After having them, I was told that I was severely anemic and they were considering a blood transfusion. They didn’t end up giving it to me because my symptoms were not that pronounced.. Good luck to you! At least they know now so they can be prepared later!

4 03 2010
lillyshephard

i have no experience with blood transfusions or anemia…but wanted to say—look at you!! 37 wks tomorrow!!! 🙂 so happy for you.

4 03 2010
mtnhighmama

I am thinking of you today….I can’t believe they are almost here.

4 03 2010
clio

eat red beets, liver (if you’re a carnivore) and cook most of what you eat in an iron pot, those are age old advices for anemia and will help you in these coming days. good luck!

4 03 2010
PJ

I wish I had some good advice. I’ll bet that’s a pretty common thing though, especially with twins. I have read that twin moms need a lot of iron.

4 03 2010
strongblonde

i was in the same boat. they ended up not giving me blood though…even though my hgb dropped to 8 after delivery. i just ate a lot of red meat afterward 🙂

yay for march babies!!! i’m growing inpatient! 🙂 lol

xoxo

4 03 2010
Monique

Highest levels: Food that contain the highest iron content (over 5 mg per average serving) are: kidney and pinto beans, liver (eat only from organically raised animals; otherwise, it will contain all the toxic waste the animal has stored), blackstrap molasses, rice bran, raw beet greens (but not the roots), mustard greens, lentils, dried peaches (organic only), and prune juice.

5 03 2010
Kate

Why can’t they order EPO (erythropoietin) shots for you? 99 (Canadian units = 9.9 US) isn’t bad. If your blood volume is about 5L now, you could probably drop to 65, or lose about 1.7L of blood, and still be ok. If they transfused you before you got below 70, I wouldn’t be impressed (unless you were having issues with ongoing significant blood loss, and then they should transfuse you earlier). I don’t think most twin deliveries end up losing that much – maybe 1L, which ought to give you a fair bit of safety room.
But FYI (reading one of the other comments): Directed donation (family member donating ahead of time for someone) is only allowed for kids where I am, and even then is not favoured. Apparently the Red Cross blood supply system is actually safer, partly because there’s less chance of someone lying in response to an infectious disease question, and because the antigens (or something like that) are more different, so you’re less likely to end up with some of the complications (like graft vs host disease). And quite a few of the risks of transfusion are the same between anonymous and directed donation too.
Here’s hoping you won’t need one anyhow. But if I felt like crap or bled a lot, I’d let them transfuse me too.
My friend who just had her baby hemorrhaged in the C/S room (hasn’t found out exactly why yet). They kept wanting to transfuse her, and the lowest she dropped was 70. She feels tired, but otherwise ok, and refused the transfusion they offered her a couple days post delivery. She’s doing just fine at home.

5 03 2010
Kate

Sorry – EPO is the hormone that your kidneys produce to stimulate red blood cell production. It’s expensive, but they do have recombinant versions of it that are used for renal failure patients and for anemic patients preoperatively. Might be a thought?

5 03 2010
Caroline

Hey sweetie – A blood transfusion sounds a bit scary. I hope that you don’t need one. Thinking of you. Hugs. xx

5 03 2010
Mabelb

Hi, I have a friend who needed a transfusion after a singleton birth due to excessive blood loss, not anaemia. She was offered the choice as to whether or not she had one or just waited for her body to build up it’s own supply again. She chose the transfusion as she was warned that it could take 6 weeks of feeling very tired and washed out before her body naturally replenished it’s stores and she didn’t want that with a new baby and was concerned about a possible effect on the quantity of breastmilk she would produce if her body was under too much strain after the birth. She said it was fine, over quickly and she felt better afterwards. Hopefully it is something you will get a choice about after the birth depending on how your levels are and how you feel?

5 03 2010
Rebecca

I had a delayed hemorrhage after a c/s about a year ago and had a total of 8 transfusions over the course of 3 weeks. My hemoglobin was 5.5 at it’s lowest (which also put my bp at 40/18…hard to imagine how I lived through it, but I had an amazing doctor). They didn’t transfuse once it hit 7. I think it’s about 1 unit of blood per point. And I think 12-14 hemoglobin is normal (or 40 hematocrit). My doctor told me it would take 6 months for me to get back to normal, but I was back there is 6 WEEKS.

The transfusions helped me tremendously. I would absolutely do it again, if I needed it. They start each unit slowly and watch you very carefully to make sure you don’t have any sort of reaction. I felt so so much better afterwards. Once my count got to 7, they put me on monster iron pills (like 300 mg a day, I kid you not) and though they constipated me, they certainly got my iron up.

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