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29 weeks pregnant. How to increase haemoglobin level?

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i am 29 weeks pregnant and my last CBP shows haemoglobin as 10.3 where the range is from 12-15. How to improve this level by food intake? I am using Ferronine and Pro cal A as iron and calcium supplements presently. I live in Hyderabad. No allergies other than indigestion and Gas which i think is common at this stage of pregnancy. Please suggest.
Posted Wed, 7 Nov 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to us.

Do not worry about your hemoglobin levels. Any hemoglobin of more than 10 gm% is acceptable though the ideal is 12 gm%. Definitely if you have a higher hemoglobin , its good for you, your baby and your delivery. So you should try and increase your hemoglobin for which you still have time before you deliver.
I would advise dietary modification for improving your hemoglobin levels besides continue the iron and calcium supplementation you are taking. This is because requirements of iron increase in pregnancy and supplementation is a must to avoid deficiency.
Most common cause of low hemoglobin levels that is anemia is Iron deficiency. So you should try to take iron XXXXXXX diet. There are two types of dietary iron, heme and non heme iron. Heme iron is maximum absorbed and so better choice to increase hemoglobin. But heme iron is present only in animal foods like meat, poulty and fish. Eating meat generally boosts body iron far more than eating non heme iron. Non heme iron is the one obtained from XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. It also good though the absorption of iron is far less from them. So if you are a non vegetarian then you should eat lot of meat with Liver, beef and chicken. Sea foods like fish, shrimp,Oysters, Tuna are also good sources.
Among the vegetables, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans and other XXXXXXX leafy vegetables are good sources of iron.
Among the cereals, white bread, whole wheat bread, enriched macaroni, XXXXXXX cereals, corn meal are good sources.
Fruits like watermelon, prunes, dried apricots, dried peaches, strawberries, dates , raisins and fig are very good sources of iron.
Eating a handful of dates daily would boost up your iron besides providing high calories.

I have mentioned a big list of iron XXXXXXX foods not because you have to eat everything. Its just for you to choose the food which you like from every category inorder to make it a balanced diet with high iron content.

Also ensure that you are not taking your iron(Ferronine) and calcium (Pro cal A) supplements together. This is because iron absorption is hampered with calcium. So if you are taking calcium in the afternoon, take iron tablet at bed time. Also avoid taking both tablets with meals. Empty stomach favors iron absorption. Either take them half hour before meals or 2 hours after meals.

I hope I have answered your query.
You can revert back if you have further queries.

take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 29 weeks pregnant. How to increase haemoglobin level? 10 minutes later
Thanx a lot for the quick and detailed reply. Is it true that iron absorption to our body is more along with Vitamin C? But, i have stopped all Vitamin C sources (like lemon, mosambi, orange etc.) as per the dietician suggestion coz, i am suffering from Gastric problem.

I am taking 4 soaked and peeled almonds daily. Is that OK or should i have them without peeling (with skin)?

Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 52 minutes later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing back.

A good source of vitamin C that is oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries increase iron absorption. But since in pregnancy reflux and acidity is quite common and you have it also, you should avoid taking excess citrus fruits. This is because very high content of vitamin C which is ascorbic acid increases the acidity.
If you consume a healthy diet, there is nothing much to worry about adding vitamin C XXXXXXX foods separately.
You should avoid excess tea and coffee as these prevent iron absorption.
Peeled almonds are fine and good content of iron is present in them though raw almonds are preferred. But if you dislike raw almonds then you can consume peeled soaked almonds too. The idea is not to use and get your iron content from one item alone. Mix the different iron XXXXXXX foods so that you can consume a balanced diet.

Take care.
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