Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Guess I Need to Eat More Nails

My doctor called me on Friday-- officially a week after my last appointment (one of the detriments to the practice having two offices doctors work out of) to tell me that I am "just a very, very little anemic."

Great. Anemia isn't a horrible thing in pregnancy, as long as is it counteracted by taking a quality iron supplement and eating iron-rich food, such as spinach and liver. Yum. Basically, as my blood level has increased to help strengthen the baby, my body was not able to produce enough iron, so the baby stole it from me and left me depleted. According to all of the books, 20% of women become anemic during pregnancy and it can cause weakness and paleness. I have been experiencing a little bit of both, but I thought that was normal Minnesota-winter and late pregnancy feelings.

Accoring to the lovely people at

"Unfortunately, most women start pregnancy without sufficient stores of iron to meet their body's increased demands particularly in the second and third trimesters. If you get to the point that you no longer have enough iron to make the hemoglobin you need, you become anemic.
Your risk is even higher if you have morning sickness severe enough to cause frequent vomiting, if you've had two or more pregnancies close together, if you're pregnant with more than one baby, if you have an iron-poor diet, or if your pre-pregnancy menstrual flow was heavy."

The latter of those is probably the likeliest cause of my issue, and I may have also contributed to my body not absorbing the 150% or so of iron in my regular prenantal vitamin by my inclination toward taking my vitamin with milk, rather than water or light fruit juice. I have typically heard that it is bad to take medication with foods and beverages rich in Vitamin C is bad because it can prevent absorbtion into the body, but it seems that this is the opposite.

I am now pill-popping like a GNC customer. I now take 1--my regular prenatal vitamin, 2-- a B6 supplement to counteract any lingering traces of nausea, 3-- A Fish oil supplement for baby's brain and nervous system and 4-- my new iron supplement's green color looks like a small corroded penny, or a rivet from the Statue of Liberty.


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