run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Iron (wo)man

During my pregnancy, I was obsessed with having my baby in my hospital's birthing centre. Not because of a hippyish obsession with a candle-lit natural labour, but because the smell, and all that medical equipment makes me feel terrified - and tense. And throughout pregnancy, I kept being told staying relaxed was the key.

So when I found out about my hospital's birthing centre (the Whittington) it sounded like the perfect solution: specialists just a corridor away if anything went off-track, but the rooms there look like hotels, not hospitals. All medical equipment is hidden, there's a birthing pool, a double bed so your partner can stay with you... I knew this was where I wanted to give birth. 

Then in one of my last antenatal appointments, something was blocking my route to this dream birth place: my iron levels.

They weren't dangerously low, but they were scraping along the bottom of the 'normal enough to give birth in the birthing centre' index, and I was worried. I stockpiled spinach, gave myself the right to eat as many burgers as I wanted, and then my midwife suggested taking Spatone. 

It's sachets of iron-rich water which come from a well in the Snowdonia mountains of North Wales. Sounds exclusive but they weren't too expensive - about £8 for a month's supply.

During pregnancy, I poured my sachet into a daily glass of orange juice (iron is absorbed better when consumed with vitamin C). It tasted a bit metallic, but not too bad - and it worked: my iron levels rose. I gave birth to tiny man in exactly that calm environment that I'd wanted.

Now as a sleep-deprived mum I'm still taking my daily iron. Spatone comes in a new apple flavour, so swallowing iron doesn't have to taste like you're swallowing a glass of ball bearings. One sachet provides the recommended daily amount of iron and of Vitamin C, so I'm hoping it cuts down winter colds as well as reducing tiredness and fatigue.

This post was written in collaboration with Spatone, all words and opinions are my own.

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