Because the body uses iron to generate more blood for babies, a pregnant woman needs almost twice as much of it as she had before she became pregnant. Despite this, almost half of all pregnant women are deficient in this vital mineral. Iron levels can be maintained by eating iron-rich foods and taking more iron as prescribed by a doctor.
What Are the Health Benefits of Iron?
During pregnancy, the body uses iron to produce additional blood (hemoglobin) for the mother and baby. It also aids in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, as well as to the baby’s lungs.
Getting enough of this mineral can help prevent anemia, (a deficiency of red blood cells) that makes a person tired. Your baby may be delivered prematurely or excessively small as a result of anemia.
What is the Best Time to Start Taking It?
When a pregnant woman gets her first prenatal appointment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that she begin taking a low-dose iron supplement (30 mg per day). Pregnant women usually obtain this amount of mineral from their prenatal vitamins.
How Much Iron Do I Need?
Women need at least 27 mg each day while pregnant. Breastfeeding mothers aged 19 and above should take at least 9 milligrams every day. Breastfeeding women who are under the age of 18 need 10 milligrams every day.
What Are Some Iron-Rich Foods?
Iron can be found in a variety of meals, including meat, poultry, and plant-based diets, as well as supplements. Two types of this mineral can be found in food.
Heme iron is the type of iron that the body absorbs best. Beef, chicken, turkey, and pork all contain it.
The other type is nonheme iron, which can be found in beans, spinach, and tofu.
Foods rich in iron include:
- Chicken liver
- Kidney beans
Although beef and chicken liver are high in iron, they are not recommended for consumption while pregnant.
Even if you make a conscious effort to increase your iron intake, getting adequate of it from foods might be challenging when you’re pregnant. This is especially true if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who doesn’t eat iron-rich foods or poultry. If you’re a vegetarian, inform your doctor so that your iron and hemoglobin levels may be monitored more closely.
Iron Supplements: What Are the Side Effects?
You need at least 27 milligrams of iron per day, but no more than 45 milligrams per day during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Make sure you’re taking these supplements according to your doctor’s instructions.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea are all possible side effects of the supplements. In certain cases, the body will adjust to the additional iron on its own within a few days. Constipation can also be relieved by drinking plenty of fluids and consuming high-fiber meals. If you’re still experiencing problems, consider taking the vitamins with food or in two doses. Alternatively, ask your doctor if taking a stool softener is safe.
1. Katherine M (2019). Pump Up Your Iron with These Pregnancy-Friendly, Foods. Available at https://healthline.com
Leave a Reply