Are you pregnant? Did your blood report come back stamped hemoglobin deficiency? Do you feel weak and tired? If these questions sound like you, then you probably suffer from iron deficiency.
If you have hemoglobin deficiency, your gynecologist might prescribe you iron-rich foods or even those little multi-colored capsules called iron supplements. Read our post to find out benefits and side effects of iron supplements during pregnancy?
Overview About Iron Deficiency:
The human body requires iron for a strong immune system. Iron is crucial for oxygenation or carrying oxygen to every cell of our body. It also helps produce ATP, which is the body’s energy source. A pregnant woman is at maximum risk of iron deficiency.
Why Does A Pregnant Woman Require More Iron?
During pregnancy, red cell mass and plasma expand due to increase in the production of red blood cells. Also, the placenta and the fetus require iron. Hence, you need more iron, unlike other non-pregnant women. If ne
What Are Iron Supplements?
Iron supplements are crucial for expecting mothers who have anemia. If you do not have hemoglobin deficiency, then taking iron supplements is a precautionary measure. Hence, a few blood tests during these nine months help to identify and treat iron deficiency on time.
[ Read: Symptoms of Anemia in Pregnancy ]
What Are The Consequences Of Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy?
Iron deficiency makes a person feel exhausted and tired. Severe anemia results in pregnancy complications. It will lead to poor neurodevelopment of the foetus. Breastfeeding and pregnant ladies need to take 20-30 mg iron per day. Non-vegetarians usually get it from their regular diet, but unfortunately vegetarians face an issue. Under such circumstances, your medical advisor will prescribe iron supplements. Iron deficiency during pregnancy can result in:
- Premature Birth
- Infant and maternal mortality
- Low birth weight
- Behavioural and cognitive imbalance (2)
[ Read: Calcium Tablets During Pregnancy ]
Sources Of Iron:
Some of these foods are rich sources of iron:
- Kidney beans
- Almonds, dates, dry apricots
Remember a balanced and a healthy diet will help you overcome iron deficiency (3).
[ Read: Iron Tablets During Pregnancy ]
Iron Requirement During Pregnancy:
The mother and the foetus both require a decent amount of iron during pregnancy. The demand cannot be met without supplements especially if you are a vegetarian. Let’s break the requirement for better understanding:
- Fetus and placenta requirement – 300mg
- Maternal Haemoglobin – 500mg
The total requirement is 800 mg. To meet the need, it is crucial that you consume 2 -4.8 mg of iron per day. Unfortunately, most women do not consume the required quantity that results in iron deficiency (4).
Do Women With Normal Iron Level Benefit From Iron Supplements?
As the pregnancy progresses, your gynecologist will prescribe iron tablets. However, it does not mean that you have iron deficiency. They usually advise supplements as a precautionary measure because the iron requirement of an expecting mother increases as the pregnancy progresses.
Side Effects Of Iron Supplements During Pregnancy:
Iron is extremely crucial for the human body. However, the key is to balance the same to avoid iron supplement side effects during pregnancy. Though our body can store iron, excess iron can lead to nausea, vomiting and constipation.
If you are expecting and feel tired and week, then get your blood test done to confirm iron deficiency. Talk to your doctor about your concerns so that you get the right treatment.
We hope our post on we hope our post was helpful. If you faced the problem of iron deficiency during your pregnancy, then share a few useful tips with other expecting mothers here. You can also discuss your queries about iron deficiency, if you are one of those happy moms who is expecting a baby.
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