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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Continued from previous page

But some people cannot tolerate oral iron!

For most, it is a question of getting the right brand. The doctor will strive to help the expectant mother to identify the right one for her. There are quite a few on the market and some women tolerate one brand and not others. Ultimately, all brands deliver the same ingredient, iron. She should be encouraged to persevere because this is for her and her baby's own good. It is not simply a ritual.

Some women find it easier to tolerate liquid preparations and several of these are available.

When all these avenues fail, doctors have to assess the situation and decide whether the degree of deficiency and anaemia warrants giving iron in the form of injections.

Why is the iron "injections"  or infusion option a near-last resort?

Even though this route replenishes iron stores more efficiently and usually more quickly, it is associated with potential problems and is therefore not a suitable first choice.

Some people develop an allergic reaction to it (and therefore a test dose in hospital is an absolute prerequisite). Also, the injections have to be given deep in the muscle and are fairMonoFer in Pregnancyly painful. Moreover, there is a small risk of developing abscesses at the site of the injection. There is also the fact that each course will consist of many injections (at least ten) which have to be administered either daily or on alternate days. This is certainly not everybody's cup of tea and it is evident that the oral route is, in many respects, a great deal better.

What about iron infusion such as MonoFer®?

Iron infusion preparations are seen as more user-friendly and efficient. This is because a calculation is made based on the patient’s blood test results to determine the exact amount the person needs to correct the anaemia. This is then administered via an infusion. The treatment is therefore completed in one sitting lasting an hour or so. Since the iron is infused directly into the blood stream, problems of absorption or upset stomach that can be associated with oral iron are avoided. The correction of the anaemia is therefore guaranteed. MonoFer is a brand name for iron isomaltoside.

Does a newly delivered mother need to continue taking iron?

The degree of need for this is dependent on a few factors:

If the mother was taking iron during pregnancy because she was found to be iron-deficient, then it is advisable that she continues to take iron for several weeks (six to eight) after delivery.

If the blood loss at delivery was heavy, even if she was not particularly anaemic during pregnancy, the advice will be to start or continue taking iron, again, for several weeks at least.

If she is breast-feeding, the need for iron supplements is increased.

If she is a total vegetarian, where the diet may not supply adequate iron, supplements are strongly advised.

Every individual woman's needs should be assessed and advice given accordingly. As a general statement, haemoglobin levels will tend to rise in the days and weeks after delivery. However, this does not mean that the need for iron is diminished or eliminated.

Folic acid deficiency anaemia: Next Page

Anaemia causes Iron injections Folic acid role Iron deficiency Vitamin B12