Why do all pregnant women need to take Iron Supplements?

pregnant women iron supplements

An adequate amount of iron is essential for pregnant women as a precautionary measure. In women who are anemic or have low iron levels, iron supplements intake is mandatory for the betterment of the child’s health. Lack of iron can result in premature birth and low birth weight of a child. Many women who have sufficient iron in their bodies are also recommended to take iron-rich diets during pregnancy.

Iron is an important mineral that is responsible for carrying out oxygen in our body. The largest quantity of iron is found in our hemoglobin that transports oxygen to all our body tissues and organs. If your body doesn’t have enough iron, the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells decreases as well. Eventually, reducing the oxygen supply in your body. Therefore, it is recommended by health experts for pregnant women to take the best iron capsules for women.

Iron for pregnant women

On average, pregnant women need 30mg of iron every day, and if they intake less amount, the possibility of anemia rises. Their body needs iron to meet the demands of extra blood for the growing fetus. The prenatal multivitamins contain adequate amounts of iron that a pregnant woman needs. Unfortunately, you might require higher amounts of iron, if you have any of the following:

  • Have low iron levels
  • Anemic
  • Carrying triplets or twins
  • Started taking iron supplements late in pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your body requires extra blood for you and your baby, and without sufficient iron, it is nearly impossible. Iron helps in supplying oxygen to you and your child’s body. You can prevent anemia if you are getting enough iron. Being anemic makes you feel tired and dizzy, and can also cause low birth weight and premature delivery.

Iron-rich Food items to take during pregnancy

We get iron from the food that we eat, but the amount of iron differs. Some food items have a higher amount of iron than others like meat and liver are iron-rich foods. From only a plant-based diet, it becomes harder for the body to absorb iron. However, some plants are a rich source of iron. These include legumes, nuts, cereals, green leafy vegetables, and herbs. It can be extremely difficult for vegetarians to get enough iron from their diet. Therefore, iron supplements are mandatory for vegetarian pregnant women. There are two types of iron that you get from your diet. One is heme iron, and another is non-heme iron.

Some of the food items containing heme iron are as follows:

Food ItemsAmount of Iron
Liver5.2mg – 11mg
Oysters5.7mg
Red Meat2.7mg
Turkey1.7mg
Fish1.4mg

Certain food items containing non-heme iron are as follows:

Food ItemsAmount of Iron
Cereal11mg – 18mg
Nuts1.6mg – 2.5mg
Beans5.2mg
Lentils6.6mg
Soybeans8.8mg

Consequences of iron deficiency in pregnancy

Usually, iron deficiency causes fatigue, tiredness and dizziness. If you have anemia, the situation can be severe, which can cause complications in your pregnancy. The immune system can weaken that can cause infections and increase the risk of premature birth. Low birth weight in children is also seen in women with low iron levels. Though anemia is very rare in healthy pregnant women, doctors recommend iron supplements and a balanced diet to them. Women who don’t take iron supplements or a balanced diet can experience tiredness and low energy throughout their pregnancy.

If you have anemia and you are pregnant or breastfeeding, prefer to take a balanced diet and iron supplements. Also, supplementing your child with iron supplements for kids makes their bones stronger and healthier.

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