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Old 02-24-2011, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: Can someone explain iron levels in pregnancy?

There are a couple of different ways of measuring iron/red blood cells. (I'm not an expert, so this is just what I have gathered along the way.)

Hematocrit is the percentage of your blood that is red blood cells (and this is related to iron because your body needs iron to make red blood cells). That's a percentage, and for women, a normal number when not pregnant is something between 35 and 45%. It's usually reported without the percentage, though, so 38, or whatever. It sounds like that's the measurement your midwife was using.

Hemoglobin is the protein that binds with the red blood cells and contains the iron. For non-pregnant women, a normal number is 12 to 16. These two measurements are two ways of getting the same kind of information (how well your body is making red blood cells).

The 100 numbers you're finding online--I'm not sure what those are, but probably some other measurement.
Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, Toddler Boy 3/11, and Twin Girls 2/14!
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