Pregnant Women Should Add Iron to their Pregnancy

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We all know that there are many things that we must do and not do when we are pregnant. One of those many things is to take care of our bodies and provide our baby with the nutrients that it needs to develop into a healthy baby. One important element that you need to be receiving enough of while you are pregnant is iron.

1. Why do I need iron?

Iron is important in the body for a number of reasons. It is important to red blood cells as they are carrying oxygen to the cells in the body and helps you to maintain a healthy immune system. It also helps the protein that supplies oxygen to your muscles, work correctly in the body.

While you are pregnant, however, it becomes even more important. First, the amount of blood that is in the body doubles while you are pregnant, meaning you need additional iron to help create hemoglobin. You also need the extra iron for the health of your baby, especially during the second and third trimesters.

preterm-delivery

It is important that you build these levels up in the early part of your pregnancy so that you have enough during the later stages. Women who have an iron deficiency are also at a greater risk of having preterm delivery, low birth weights of their babies and even infant mortality.

How much Iron is needed?

  • Pregnant women need about 27 mg of iron each day
  • Non pregnant women need 18 mg of iron each day
  • It is also alright for you to receive this amount on average over the course of a few days or over a week time frame.

2. Where can I get iron?

There are many ways that you can add iron to your daily diet. Red meat is a popular option for pregnant women, but you should stay away from liver because of the high levels of vitamin A. You can also receive iron from legumes, vegetables and grains if you are practicing a non-animal protein diet.

iron-enriched-foods

Simply by adding a bit of meat or fish to your regular meal can help you absorb some of the iron that is also present in the other foods that you are eating at the time.  You can also consume more iron by following a few simple tips as well:

  • Use a cast-iron skillet. This can help food soak up iron.
  • Refrain from drinking coffee and tea with your meals.
  • Consume greater amounts of vitamin C filled foods.
  • Look into foods that can prevent the body from absorbing iron as well as the foods that will counteract this effect.
  • Only take calcium supplements between meals.

3. What about an iron supplement?

There is a possibility that your body will not receive enough iron during your pregnancy. If this is the case, you may want to think about taking a supplement to make up for the difference.

Since there are many women who start out with low iron levels, their bodies eventually will find it difficult to produce the levels that they need later in the pregnancy. You should talk to your doctor before taking additional iron.

prenatal-vitamin2

If you are taking a prenatal vitamin, you are probably already consuming 30 mg of iron on top of the iron you are receiving from your food. Unless you have found that you are anemic, you should not take iron supplements without the knowledge of your doctor.

4. What if I don’t get enough?

Iron is used by your body on a continuous basis and even more so when you are pregnant. If you are not receiving enough in your diet you will become anemic. This can make you fatigued as well as make it more difficult to fight off infections.

iron-deficiency-

If you are anemic when you give birth, there is a greater chance that you will need a blood transfusion. You may also have other issues if you lose a significant amount of blood during the delivery process. There have even been some studies that link iron deficiencies and postpartum depression.

5. Conclusion

Iron is an important part of our daily lives and is even more important while you are pregnant. It is very important that you maintain healthy levels of iron while you are pregnant. Be sure to share any iron deficiency symptoms that you may be having with your doctor so that he can check for any issues.

Dr. Lynette Weiss is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician and Scientific Director. She is certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • mrs.haves

    I am 27 years old, have been married for 3 yrs and 2 months, and have been trying to get pregnant for a year now.. My husband has a child from a previous marriage, and im starting to get really frustrated and upset that i will never have a child of my own. I love my stepson with all my heart, but i feel like something is missing in my life. I want a baby so bad and reading these success stories with Fertibella, really gives my husband and I some hope. I was on the depo for 6 years and we are hoping that hasnt made it impossible for me to conceive. Can U please tell me if this will work with me..

    • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

      FertiBella is specifically designed to stimulate ovulation by regulating hormones and normalizing your cycle, especially helpful after just terminating chemical contraception like the Depo Provera shot. In addition to boosting progesterone levels in the pituitary gland and lengthening your luteal phase, FertiBella is virtually unmatched in placing the cervix into a higher, softer, and more open hyperfertile state during ovulation, to maximize your chances of getting pregnant quick & easy.

  • Darleneestman

    I have been trying for over 5 years now with no luck. Will this product work if you have high hormone levels?? I have been told my levels are very high??  

    • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

      The menstrual cycle is orchestrated by precise hormone levels, and any abnormality in these levels can decrease the chance of getting pregnant in any given month. An example of these hormones is Estradiol, the primary form of estrogen, that helps determine fertility potential; in which higher levels can indicate fertility problems. Another hormone is the Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which is an important indicator of fertility. Levels above normal indicate premature ovarian failure and a low chance of pregnancy. Fertibella ConceiveEasy are able to bring hormones such as FSH to normal levels and help the ovaries produce eggs in the right number and of the right quality, increasing the chance of pregnancy.