There are many cellular developments going around in the body of a pregnant woman that it charges her health a lot of risk during those 40 weeks of pregnancy. A woman is in need of 2-5 times of nutrients than her before pregnancy phase. According to health institutions in the U.S., more than 3 million pregnant women are suffering from anemia, an iron deficiency disease. This number increases when we include the number of newborn babies and infants in the list. The news is not so great to address yet it’s a truth.
Iron is a vital mineral which is needed to produce red blood cells. During fetus development, the rate of formation of red blood cells increases two-folds. Also, plasma formation in the initial stage dilutes the blood that causes anemia in women. However, not just a women in pregnancy needs Iron supplement but also women who bleed heavily during menstruation.
As per the WHO guidelines 2012, pregnant women must have 30-60 mg of elemental iron supplement after consulting a doctor. The user must read the description before starting to intake supplements for the type of iron compound is present in the supplement like ferrous sulfate heptahydrate, ferrous fumarate or ferrous gluconate.
What does iron do for pregnant women?
Despite keeping a healthy RBC routine to other complex functions of body, iron helps to nurture the fetus too. It makes the mother feel better and energetic. It keeps away signs of anemia like nausea, vomiting, UTI etc. At the third trimester, it is necessary to increase iron intake since body and baby requirements increases. Lack of iron means an improper supply of oxygen. This creates more complications in the development of the baby and breast milk.
What are the natural sources of Iron?
There are two types of iron: Heme and Non-Heme. Heme Iron is found in animals and Non-heme iron is found in plant-based food.
- Heme Iron Source: lean meat, beef liver, chicken liver, turkey and oysters
- Non-heme Iron Source: kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, spinach and green leafy vegetables
Heme iron is easier to absorb than non-heme iron. Still, it is important for vegetarians to maintain a healthy amount of iron in their bodies. Mothers who are not taking on animal proteins may need to depend on lots of green vegetables and cereals to take the natural iron diet. Seafood may be avoided or limited to a very small amount due to the presence of high amount of mercury and Vitamin A that could promote premature deliveries.
Are Iron supplements beneficial?
Iron supplements are essential vitamin before the birth of a child as of we know. In fact, the gynecologist from around the world recommends iron tablets, powders, capsules to their patients so as to keep the healthy process going on. They prescribe Vitamin C along with iron as vitamin C helps to absorb the iron in the blood else it remains undigested. Let’s look at some features of prenatal friendly iron supplement for mothers:
Amount of elemental Iron
The packets come with the weight of compound printed but not the weight of elemental iron. Before buying the packet, one must check the iron content in nutrients value section.
The type of Iron compound present
Some iron compounds affect the body negatively. They tend to react with other minerals and make non-dissolving salts in the body which pose as the higher degree of trouble for new nurturing mothers.
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Pills with least or no side effects
There are iron pills that could give gastrointestinal problems like constipation, gastric, vomiting or abdomen irritation. If you address these problems discontinue the use of iron tabs immediately and seek medical help to make sure, your baby is unharmed. Only choose supplements which are manufactured by trusted brand that is doctor’s recommended.
The health of mother and child is the most important agenda during pregnancy as not only the embryo grows into a human but also mother’s body goes through the various bodily dilemma. To combat those changes and its effect, it is important to pay extra heed to diet, mental and physical health of the mother.