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Old Nov 26th, 2015, 09:23 AM   1
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Devastated !

I've been planning a home birth, surrounded by Christmas lights and having my pets there and being able to go to my own bed since before I even knew I was pregnant.

I have just had a call from my midwife and my iron levels are too low for a home birth.

I haven't stopped crying !

Old Nov 26th, 2015, 09:26 AM   2
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You're 36 weeks? Can you not work on getting those levels up in the next few weeks? I have anaemia also so know how rubbish it is. Not sure how long it takes to get levels up so i might be talking rubbing ((hugs)) x

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Old Nov 26th, 2015, 09:29 AM   3
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I probably could get my levels up but doubt they would retest me !

I will try my hardest and see if she will retest me at my 38 or 39 week appointment

Old Nov 26th, 2015, 16:05 PM   4
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What are your actual levels?. If it is a case of being boarderline then you could work on improving it and say you want a HB anyway. You are in the UK so it is your choice not theirs. They have to support your choice. Of course that is only if you are comfortable with the idea but I'd at least do a bit of research about it before writing off the idea. I dont know what it is like where you live because I dont live in the UK anymore but I can get basic blood tests done at a lab privately. I get the results the same day and its not that expensive.

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Old Nov 26th, 2015, 23:51 PM   5
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Oh no! I hope you are able to get your levels up and have the home birth you've always dreamed of! I think a private lab sounds like a great option (assuming it is available where you live) if your midwife won't retest. I don't have any input or suggestions that haven't already been mentioned so I will offer a virtual hug instead.

Best wishes xo

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Old Nov 27th, 2015, 06:52 AM   6
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What are your levels? Usually they like them to be above 10, but just because they're lower doesn't mean you can't still have a home birth if you want. It's always your choice. The added risk with low iron is that if you were to have a PPH, you would be much sicker with already low iron (because PPH usually causes anaemia after the fact). So that would suck, but you'd still feel just as unwell in hospital and need extra intervention. Usually in that case, they would offer you a transfusion (you would have to transfer into hospital for this, but it wouldn't be an emergency thing, just they'd let you come in when you're ready and you could probably go home the same day) and they recommend you take high potency supplements for a few weeks after birth. It sucks a lot, but it can happen wherever you are and isn't specifically a risk for home birth. The good thing about home birth is you are significantly less likely to have a PPH at home than in hospital, so actually being at home might be protective for you.

You also have plenty of time to take iron now and get your levels up. My levels were great in pregnancy (13.9 and 12.1) and I didn't have a PPH, but I still became anaemic after birth. I didn't opt for the transfusion though it was offered to me. I started to feel a bit better just after taking the tablets on my own, so decided to stick to that unless I started to feel really unwell again. I took high potency iron tablets (the 200mg ones, maybe twice a day?) plus one Spatone sachet and 500mg of vitamin C at every meal (so 3x a day). That brought my levels up in about a week. Postnatally I was measured as an HB of 6 and then a 9 a bit later, so really low! I had a home birth and I'm not sure if actually my levels were low to start or they dropped after (like I said, iron was good all pregnancy and I didn't have a PPH).

You definitely can bring your levels up and you don't need them to re-test you. You can birth at home with any iron levels anyway, though they might advise against it. It's ultimately your choice 100% and they have a duty of care to support that choice. But if you feel well, I wouldn't be too worried. Even when my levels were a 9, I felt horrible. I could barely walk without passing out. Every time I stood up my heart would race so fast I could feel it pounding in my chest and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. If you are going about your day otherwise feeling fine, then your iron is high enough that it's keeping you healthy and feeling good and that's a good sign. But don't sit on your laurels. Get yourself on the really high doses of iron (Boots has them - ask for high potency iron tablets, usually they are 200mg per tablet), add in both Spatone and Floradix, and take loads of vitamin C or drink a small glass of orange juice with each meal.

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Old Nov 27th, 2015, 09:35 AM   7
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Well my midwife said my iron levels were 91 and they like them to be a minimum of 95 before 'allowing' a home birth. I don't feel anaemic.....obviously I'm tired....I'm 9 months pregnant but I don't feel dizzy or faint or anything.

I am going to start taking SpaTone and eating loads more green leafy veg and also staying away from antacids as much as possible and see if I can get my iron levels up and see if she will retest me at my 38 or 39 week appointment, if I make it that far. I doubt she will willingly retest me though.

Old Nov 27th, 2015, 10:30 AM   8
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Don't let her bully you! They don't get to say what you're "allowed", it's your birth and your choice in the UK. There are a lot of personal reasons why homebirths make midwives uncomfortable, so there are those of them who will jump at any excuse to avoid it.

Do the research to find out what you trust to be safest and what you feel most comfortable with, and then make your own decision!

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Old Dec 1st, 2015, 04:24 AM   9
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if she refuses to retest you, can you pay for a private iron testing in a week or two? it's a small investment given that she won't "allow" you to birth at home otherwise.

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Old Dec 1st, 2015, 12:50 PM   10
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How would I go about getting a private blood test ? Is that even possible in the UK.

I went to have a look around the hospital birthing suite (they call it the dolphin suite) just incase and told her my iron levels were 91 and she said they only take people upto a level 90 in the dolphin suite or I have to be in a normal room.

So my plan is to say something along these lines (a bit of a lie) to my midwife in hopes she retests me "I went to go see the dolphin suite and told the midwife giving me the tour my iron level and she suggested I ask you to retest my levels so they can make sure I am above 90 so I can give birth in dolphin suite"

I have been taking 2 spatone a day, plus my prenatal, plus eating healthily, staying away from my antacids and eating lots of vitamin c rich foods so hopefully my levels have gone up. I'm tempted to take 3 spatone a day just to make sure. what do you guys think ?




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