Third trimester, 29 weeks, four days
I had some blood tests at my 28 week midwife appointment and one of them was to check my iron levels. Five days later I received a phone call informing me that they were too low and that I should contact my GP. The midwife spent the next couple of minutes telling me the kind of foods I should be eating and that orange juice should be drunk with meals to help absorb vitamin c. I wrote some of it down but took more time researching it on the internet.
The baby is having a growth spurt apparently and I’m now entitled to 200 more calories a day.
The baby needs iron to help it form red blood cells. How much extra did I need however? Apart from knowing that it was about double the ordinary intake, I wasn’t too sure. The normal levels are 12 to 15 mg and my levels were down to 8.4 from 12 in June.
As the volume of blood increases in the body so the nutrients are diluted. My nose bleeds had stopped the past couple of weeks and the GP paused a moment when I told him. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. I was told that the breathlessness and the heart racing were probably due to the low iron levels. The last few days, I have had to go back to bed after eating because my heart just wouldn’t slow down from its breakneck speed. My normal heart rate is just over 90 these days.
I was given iron supplements and told to continue with my pregnancy multi-vitamins. I went shopping. I changed my whole diet, primarily adding lots of meats, cereals, juice, leafy greens, chickpeas, black pudding and Marmite to it.
On that first night after the phone call I had an iron rich meal.
240gms of chick peas
250 gms of beef steak
1 slice of black pudding 4.4mg iron
And on a personal note it was my birthday last week. The first birthday where the baby exists.
Celebratory Birthday Menu
Sultana Bran – around 80gms – with soy milk – 200 mls
Starbucks Venti soy latte 20ozs (1.8mg iron, 10gms protein, 80mg calcium, for 8oz)
2 rashers of bacon
1 slice of black pudding 4.9mgs iron
1 bak choi
some carrots / sweetcorn / green beans
20 dried apricots
1 small brownie