iron during pregnancy can give rise to complications. Let us take a look at the
importance of iron intake during pregnancy.
Iron happens to
be one of the most important nutrients that your body needs, even without you
being an expectant mother. Iron is required to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is
the protein present inside the red blood cells and is responsible for carrying
the oxygen to other cells. Being an important constituent of myoglobin, it also
helps in supplying oxygen to the muscles. The strengthening of the immune
system is directly proportional to the consumption of iron.
Importance of Iron for Pregnant Women
However, the importance of iron further increases during the pregnancy
period. During pregnancy, the volume of blood inside the body goes up by 50%,
thus leading to the requirement of more hemoglobin. The intake of iron in a
healthy amount then becomes crucial. Also, in the 2nd and 3rd
trimester of the pregnancy, there is a growing demand of iron by your body for
the baby and the placenta. If, before entering the pregnancy, a woman was deficient in iron, she requires more
iron to meet up her body needs, and also to cope up with the transformation
inside her body.
If there is a deficiency of iron inside the womanâ€™s body, it might lead
to unfortunate circumstances during and after the conception, including
premature birth, infant mortality, and low birth weight.
How Much Iron Does One Need in Reality?
For any pregnant
mother, 27 mg of iron is necessary, while a normal woman can do with 18 mg of
iron in her diet every day. However, the objective should be to meet the
average intake, and not an exact amount.
The Food Sources of Iron
For iron, Red
meat is considered to be one of the best sources. Some women also talk about
liver being another rich source of iron, but since it contains an enormous
amount of Vitamin A which can be harmful during pregnancy, it is best avoided.
So, women can opt for vegetables, legumes, and grains.
Iron is of two
types. Non-heme iron which is found in both animal and plant extracts, and heme
iron, which is only found in animal products. Women can opt for sources rich in
non-heme iron. This includes ready to eat cereals, oatmeal, boiled soya beans,
lentils, dark green leafy vegetables and roasted pumpkin seeds.
The Use of Iron Supplements
eat iron rich foods during pregnancy, doctors also prescribe iron supplements
to them so that they get adequate amount of iron that is necessary for a
healthy pregnancy. Women should take only those supplements that are prescribed
by their doctor. In case if an expectant mother is suffering from anemia she must follow the advice of her doctor to the
â€˜Tâ€™. A doctor will prescribe her suitable iron supplements and advice her to
take right care of her diet so that iron requirements are met properly.
The Right Point to Stop
While iron does
a world of good to you and your baby if consumed in the right amount, it can
also be harmful if consumed in an abnormal amount. Excessive iron can cause the
blood levels to rise, oxidative stress, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and
in certain cases, miscarriage. All these ailments have been directly linked to
blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and eventually the intake or iron.
Iron, as we have
discussed, is an important constituent for every pregnant woman. Its monitored
and carefully calculated intake can help the expectant mother cope up with
changes inside her body. While pregnant, a woman is responsible for two lives,
and thus the consumption of healthy food items becomes very important. It is
also important to discuss your iron rich diet with your doctor so that he or
she can suggest appropriate changes.
Why is it important to have iron rich foods
during pregnancy? What are the risks of inadequate iron intake during
pregnancy? Which are the good sources of iron for pregnant woman? Discuss here.