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We have all heard about how important iron is during pregnancy, but did you know that it is just as important when you are pre-pregnancy and breastfeeding?
In today’s episode, we are talking about all matters relating to iron. Pregnant mothers’ bodies need to literally make more blood to support the growing baby, and to do this she needs adequate iron levels. Through the birthing process, women lose blood, so it is important that you are not iron deficient or anemic leading into it because you need to have blood to spare.
The challenge is that you may think low iron symptoms, such as feeling tired, are because you are pregnant, but in actuality, you may be iron deficient.
Remember, it is so important to advocate for yourself with your doctor to ensure that you are being tested for iron deficiency (both through hemoglobin and ferritin) if you are feeling tired, fatigued, exhausted, or depressed.
We all need iron, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. But women have the added complexities of the pre-pregnancy phase, the pregnancy phase, the breastfeeding phase, and the loss of iron through menstruation.
We love hearing from you! Send us your questions for our next podcast through Speak Pipe so we can have your voice on the show.
[2:53]: Anna sent in a wonderful message using Speak Pipe about her induction and the insights she had learnt through the podcast.
[4:13]: Induction is included in our Grow My Baby program. Check it out here!
[4:49]: We need to get iron in our diet. It supports many important daily metabolic functions.
[5:43]: The required levels of iron change at each life phase. Early teens to menopause it is at 15-18mg/day. When you are pregnant it is up at 27mg/day. When you are breastfeeding 9-10mg/day (due to not menstruating).
[7:00]: Iron test results appear complex, but the important factors are hemoglobin and ferritin. Pre-pregnancy planning should include a doctor’s visit where they may test a woman’s iron levels. Ask your doctor to check for ferritin if you are symptomatic; tired, fatigued, or possibly depressed.
[10:43]: Iron is needed in pregnancy to support the increased metabolic processes and to pass it on to the baby. You are literally making extra blood.
[12:57]: Iron is rechecked during the pregnancy if the hemoglobin is not staying normal, or if you expect for the patient to become iron deficient, or if they are having twins.
[13:49]: The normal range of ferritin is 20 to 300, a pregnant woman should ideally not be at the bottom of the normal range, hopefully in the 50 to 80 range.
[14:27]: Diet is definitely worth looking at, but it can only take you so far. Oral supplements are needed if you have low iron or are anemic. Diet is great to prevent you from having low iron but won’t build your levels back up once they are already low.
[16:32]: Recently, a palatable iron infusion has been developed that can be given intravenously to outpatients. It works to effectively increase iron levels if oral supplements are not working. Symptoms subside very quickly.
[19:54]: During birth, you will lose blood, regardless of how you give birth. That’s why we really want women to have blood to spare and not be anemic.
[22:28]: A patient can advocate for an iron infusion in the hospital before she goes home if your hemoglobin is low and iron tablets constipate you.
[23:20]: Breastfeeding women can continue to take the more palatable iron supplement dose of 50-60mg within a pregnancy vitamin.
[24:48]: Check out Maive and Bo for comfortable maternity clothes. You can receive 15% off your first order by entering the code ‘KICK’ at the checkout. Check it out here!
[26:00]: We received a question from Megan. When I do decide to have another baby, what can I do to better my chances at having a vaginal birth without any significant tearing?
[30:02]: A planned cesarean is not the same thing as an emergency cesarean and should be offered as an option if you have experienced significant tearing in a previous birth.
[30:50]: Brittany asks, what would you recommend for someone with a higher range (3) TSH who is technically in the normal range but too high for what is optimised for conception? How could they lower their TSH and advocate for themselves with their doctor?
[32:47]: Thyroid function would impact someone’s fertility if they had a significant thyroid disorder that stopped them from ovulating. If your thyroid is a little bit off but you are still ovulating regularly, it is unlikely to be a major factor in a subfertility picture.
[35:52]: Check out our 11 step method for getting pregnant on our website.
The top 3 mistakes EVERYBODY makes in their pregnancy and WHY they cause you overwhelm you don’t need
Our expert tips to get the best out of your healthcare team to set you up for success
Our 4 step MAMA framework to help reduce the overwhelm
In this class you will learn:
We work and live on Wadawarrung land. We acknowledge the Elders, past present and emerging. We also acknowledge the rich birthing history of aboriginal women and the connection to country that this has been and always will be.
We have 13+ years of running a busy obstetric practice, helping more than 3000 babies to enter this big beautiful world. We live and breathe babies and we are here to help you become MAMA.