This term is not often heard in allopathic medicine but spend anytime talking to women's health practitioners and it very well may come up.
Why do we need to 'blood build'?
Our iron stores are frequently already low due to things like poor absorption, inadequate intake in diet, excessive intake of calcium rich foods.
Menstruation further depletes our already inadequate level.
Pregnancy increases the demand for iron.
Post baby, the body often loses significant amounts of blood. Not just during delivery, blood loss continues for weeks postpartum along with the loss of the placenta.
So yeah - it's completely reasonable to assume we are deficient after carrying a baby. The thing is this often goes unseen with symptoms starting subtly and we may breeze by it in recovery discussions.
A thoughtful, purposeful approach serves our birth-givers better.
What could lack of blood building translate to...anemia, chronic anemia, postpartum anemia, insomnia, brain fog, mood swings, anxiety, depression! Boo.
Regardless of cause, being anemic in your postpartum days adds another layer to an already challenging time. This affects about 27% of women postpartum but is often called a silent illness because it starts asymptotic.
There are 3 stages:⠀
Levels drop in bone marrow lowering the overall iron levels in the blood.
Nonspecific symptoms are usually noticed at this stage⠀
Levels can be detected in a blood test as hemoglobin production is affected.
Symptoms like general fatigue and headaches.⠀
Severe anemia has even lower hemoglobin.
Extreme tired, exhaustion, feeling “sick”.
It might be helpful to remember there are two types of iron ...heme and non-heme. Heme iron can be found in protein of animal origin (from seafood, meat especially organ meat, poultry). Non-heme is in animal protein including dairy products but is also in plant based food and herb friends. Heme and non-heme iron is absorbed differently in the body and Heme iron is. Moderate to high sources of non-heme iron are
So to sum up, a great way to increase blood (plasma) is good old fashion (and clean) proteins. Once again, we an look back at our ancestors to have a more holistic, food first approach.
~ Dark leafy greens: Spinach, kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens (not raw)
~ Seeds & Nuts: Almond, Cashew, Hazelnut, Hemp, Sunflower, Sesame
~ Soaked Dried Fruit including Dates, Prunes, and Cherries.
~ Black Strap Molasses
~ Grains & Beans: Quinoa, Steel Cut Oats, Lentils, Red Beans
~ Herbs: Nettle Leaf, Yellow Dock, Dandelion, Alfalfa, Spirulina, Ashwagandha
~ Veggies: Beets, Potato, some Mushroom,
~ Eggs (yokes)
Vitamin c works synergistically with iron. Be sure to have a bit of C with your food. This can be as simple as taking Ascorbic Acid (powder in some water). It could be squeeze some lemon in water, it could be cooking with vitamin c rich foods with your iron rich foods.
It's also worth considering taking things needed to form red blood cells ( B12 and B9 (folic acid ideally in the form of folate.))
Lab work gives a clearer picture of what might be happening but many practitioners won't order as it's not necessarily considered 'routine'. (Sigh....advocate, advocate, advocate). Getting your H and H levels is great but it is literally the minimum. A full iron panel would be beneficial along with a CBC, of course.
Regardless of lab work, it's wise to consider how we can offset our depleted bodies. As with most things (w)holistic, it's worth the effort for a multifaceted approach with foods, herbs, and supplementation if needed.
Cooking in Cast Iron
Getting the Lucky Iron Fish
Consider taking Desiccated Liver Pills or Floradix