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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Haemopoietic Agents (iron, folic acid)

Haemopoietic Agents (iron, folic acid)

The importance of taking iron and folic acid during pregnancy is often highlighted, but do you know overdose can equally be lethal? Read on to learn more about the importance of haemopoietic agents like iron and folic acid.

Iron is an essential constituent of the body, being necessary for haemoglobin formation and for the oxidative processes of living tissues.  Folic acid, folinic acid, parental iron preparations and local iron preparations are all safe in pregnancy.

Effects of Iron Salts


Iron salts

For Children:

No known effects

For Pregnant Women:


For Breastfeeding Mothers:



Inability to tolerate iron


Must monitor reticular counts and haemoglobin levels during therapy

Importance of Iron and Folic Acid Supplements

Are you wondering how important it is to take the folic acid and iron supplements that your doctor has prescribed while confirming your pregnancy? Well, researches have proved time and again the importance of iron and folic acid for proper growth and development of your little one all through your pregnancy.

Benefit of Iron and Folic Acid Supplements for Foetus

When you are pregnant, you are not only eating to meet your daily requirements, you are eating to meet the growing needs of your little one as well. Eating a healthy diet constitutes the most important task for you at this time. A well balanced diet with plenty of sleep shall ensure a healthy pregnancy. Here we shall primarily focus on what folic acid and iron has to do with growth and development of your little one.

Folic acid helps development of the nervous system of your baby. Apart from the dietary supplements that your doctor suggests, you shall also get this nutrient from natural sources like broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cereals, bread, oranges, strawberry, chick peas, pinto peas and so on.  You need to take around 400mg of folic acid in course of your pregnancy.

Iron too plays pivotal role in ensuring healthy pregnancy. Iron supplements help formation of blood cells for your baby as well as for you. Iron too has a vital role to play when it comes to development of the central nervous system of your baby. Your doctor shall suggest you iron supplements, however; the natural sources that you can rely on are cereals, spinach, red meat and breads made of whole grain. You shall need around 120mg of iron every day during pregnancy to meet the daily requirements of your baby as well as yours.

Evidence of Benefits of the Micronutrients

Research studies have shown that babies, whose mothers took folic acid and iron in course of their pregnancies, showed improved functioning of inhibitory control and memory of their babies. Babies also developed better fine motor skills and were also able to function well with time.

Use of iron and folic acid are also known to lower the risks of anaemia during pregnancy. There are chances of you passing on anaemia to your child as well.

Lack or Overdose of the Essential Micronutrients

As you can see how absolutely necessary these micronutrients are. Here we shall take a look at what may happen in case you do not get the required amount of iron and folic acid supplements in pregnancy. You must also be aware of the consequences of overdose of these micronutrients, so that you do not make the mistake of taking more than what your body needs.

Lack of folic acid may lead to insufficient growth of the foetus, preterm delivery, closure of the spinal cord, low birth weight and underdeveloped brain.

Prenatal vitamin supplements are known to contain high levels of folic acid and iron in them. However, you must always consult with your doctor before taking those prenatal vitamin supplements yourself. You need to keep in mind that too much of the vital nutrients can also harm your pregnancy and put your developing child at risk. So, rely on your doctor for the right doses of these medicines.

Pregnancy is one of the best times in your life when you can sit back, relax and pamper yourself. So, make the most of the time and do keep in mind the dietary restrictions suggested by your doctor. Since, you would not want to welcome any unnecessary stress at this time, do follow the suggestions laid down by your health care provider. This shall ensure you give birth to a healthy and happy child.

What is the need of taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy? How does the baby benefit from the intake of iron supplements in pregnancy? How does overdose of micronutrients affect the pregnancy? Discuss here.

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Pragya.5 years ago
which is the best folic acid supplement in India?
Jivisha.5 years ago
what if i do not take folic acid regularly, but sometimes in between?
Namita.8 years ago
i would like to know the name of folic acid in china?
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