2

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Pregnancy and Iron Supplementation - How Can I Get Enough?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I'm 26 weeks pregnant and recently had a blood test which indicated low ferritin levels. I got a 22 - the reference range is 10-154 ng/mL, though I don't know if those numbers account for pregnancy, but I recognize it's on the low-end anyway. I admit, I haven't been supplementing with iron. The "prenatal" vitamin I have been taking is Pure Encapsulations Nutrient 950 with Vitamin K, which is what Chris Kresser recommended from the Healthy Baby Code. I knew it didn't have iron in it, but I went along with it. I've also been supplementing with Vitamin D, cod liver oil, butter oil, and magnesium, but I've grossly ignored iron. Plus, I happen to drink a lot of raw milk throughout the day, so that probably doesn't help either in the iron absorbing department! I'm just hoping that the baby is leeching what he needs from me!!

I was wondering what sort of iron supplements you would recommend? Sure, I know food is the most important source. I just need to space it appropriately from my milk drinking habit. How many hours would you give it? I don't want to supplement per se, but I'm just wanting a quick boost of it, and I wonder if food will give me the amounts I need in such a short period of time. What do you think? I've been incorporating spinach into my smoothies. What are some other Pregnancy/Paleo-approved sources of iron (aside from liver!)?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 24, 2012
at 09:40 PM

I can't remember if I took Ferrasorb when I was pregnant, but I've been anemic forevs, and have never had a bad reaction to it. Definitely check with your doc first though, because it has a ton of b-12 (might be too much?).

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I definitely want to try the real food route first! Thanks!

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:29 PM

I haven't found a good source of liver yet, but I would love to try it with ground beef!

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:28 PM

I just had a smoothie blended with spinach this morning! :) The fruit I used really masked the taste entirely. Unfortunately, I did put milk in it as well. I also like to put raw egg yolks in my smoothies. ^_~

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Ooooh, this gives me hope! :) I'll try it now!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 24, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I use cast iron on my glass stovetop all the time.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 01:25 PM

I like that idea, but unfortunately, I have a flat glass electric stovetop! :(

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 23, 2012
at 11:58 PM

I've heard that iron supplements can cause nausea, and I wouldn't want to start feeling that way since I've been feeling pretty great through my pregnancy thus far! :P

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:02 PM

My midwives tried to get me to take Floradix, but it made me wretch (definitely buy the smallest size first to try). I just ended up including bits of beef and chicken liver into my diet. I had trouble stomaching large amounts, but a little chicken liver pate was pretty tasty.

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6 Answers

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 24, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I had a doula client who wasn't able to tolerate iron supplements, but she started taking a spoonful of black strap molasses each day and brought her levels back up.

1
Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on April 24, 2012
at 05:26 AM

How about cooking your food in an iron cast pan

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 24, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I use cast iron on my glass stovetop all the time.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 01:25 PM

I like that idea, but unfortunately, I have a flat glass electric stovetop! :(

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Ooooh, this gives me hope! :) I'll try it now!

0
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on April 24, 2012
at 09:19 PM

I took a bottle of Iron Extra by Vitanica prescribed by my naturopath and I had zero adverse reaction -I'm not pregnant, though. And check w/ your doctor before taking any supplements, etc. But if you can hack the real food that's probably a better route.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I definitely want to try the real food route first! Thanks!

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 24, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Eat real food. Liver rocks for iron. Hide it in other food if needed, like ground beef.

Chicken liver paté is great. Liver has Iron, B vitamins, folate and Vitamin A.

http://www.ironrichfood.org/iron-beef-liver/

Just cut back a bit on the CLO, so you don't OD on Vitamin A.

If you really can't hack liver, then the Floradix tablets are good & don't stain your teeth like the liquid.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:29 PM

I haven't found a good source of liver yet, but I would love to try it with ground beef!

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on April 24, 2012
at 07:48 PM

"Anemia" during the second trimester is often normal, and a good indicator - it shows that blood volume expansion is happening. This is called physiologic anemia of pregnancy. This is one of those things where they tend to urge treatment because something would be abnormal for a non-pregnant individual, even though there is no indication that treatment will improve outcomes.

Also, a number within the reference range isn't low (in theory, anyways - there are some tests where the generally accepted reference range doesn't really reflect reality, but I don't know if ferritin is one of them). It's on the low side of normal, but, considering the above, I'm really not sure it's a cause for concern.

That said, I don't see any harm in dietary intervention (as opposed to flat-out supplementation). Smoothies with spinach and orange juice (for the iron/vit c synergy - you can't really taste the spinach). Cooking in cast iron, especially if you cook tomatoes or other acidic foods. Beef and broccoli. Egg yolks (if you're eating them cooked, eating the whites along with it is fine. But raw you'd want to avoid the whites, as they contain a protein that binds iron. Not that I suggest raw eggs while pregnant, but I know some people do that).

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, don't disregard your doctor's advice without further research of your own.)

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 24, 2012
at 09:28 PM

I just had a smoothie blended with spinach this morning! :) The fruit I used really masked the taste entirely. Unfortunately, I did put milk in it as well. I also like to put raw egg yolks in my smoothies. ^_~

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:12 PM

I've always heard it recommended that in order to boost your iron absorption, you need to take it with Vitamin C. Just be sure not to take your iron along with caffeine or calcium-containing foods, as these tend to block iron.

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