Why is iron important during pregnancy?

(June 26, 2010)

Iron In Pregnancy

Staying healthy during pregnancy is very important. Ensuring you get enough nutrients during pregnancy is important for you and your growing baby. Even before you are pregnant, your body needs iron.  Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which helps transport blood and oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also an important component of myoglobin and collagen, which transports oxygen to the muscles.

Iron is the most essential component to boost your immune system. During pregnancy, your body needs extra vitamins, iron, and nutrients. Anemia is very common in women carrying twins. Anemia is not good for the health of the woman and the baby. It can make you feel tired, pale, dizzy, and weak. In severe cases it can also cause breathlessness, chest pain, and headaches. You should regularly check your iron levels during pregnancy. The iron obtained through diet alone is not enough for a woman during pregnancy, so women should take iron supplements to avoid any deficiencies in the baby.

Iron is an important mineral and a key constituent of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood throughout the body. Iron is the only nutrient that the unborn child fully depends on the mother to supply.
You should start taking iron supplement before conception. The iron stored in bone marrow will help in fetal development during pregnancy. Iron is efficiently absorbed during pregnancy. It is important for you to consume a lot of iron to get enough oxygen.  Iron will help eliminate tiredness, dizziness, weakness, and depression. Vegetarians need to especially check the iron levels in their body during pregnancy, because their diet is not enough to satisfy the iron requirements for both the woman and her unborn child.

Iron deficiency will make you weak and can cause fainting spells. It will also put a strain on your heart. In case you experiences excessive bleeding during pregnancy, this can get very risky. Vitamin C helps absorb iron in the body. So it is essential to consume vitamin C rich foods with iron rich foods or iron supplements. Caffeinated drinks inhibit the absorption of iron. So avoid consuming caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, colas, and chocolates.

During pregnancy the amount of blood in your body increases. So you need more iron to make more hemoglobin. You also need more iron for the growth of the baby and placenta. A deficiency of iron or anemia might lead to premature delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Do consult your doctor to learn more about the importance of iron during pregnancy and how you can ensure that you are getting enough if it.

Submitted by P T on June 26, 2010 at 07:34

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