How many Mg of iron when pregnant? The answer to this question will change depending upon your body type, health and nutritional intake. Having a low iron level can lead to fatigue, fatigue in pregnancy is usually caused by iron deficiency. But don’t worry there is help for you, read on for more information about how much iron when pregnant.
How Many Mg Of Iron When Pregnant
What is iron?
Iron is a nutrient found in many proteins in the body. This includes hemoglobin, which is responsible for the transport of oxygen to tissues throughout the body for metabolism. Iron also supports brain and nerve development in infants and children.
Ways to get enough iron in pregnancy
Here are some tips for getting as much iron as possible from your diet:
- Cook in a cast iron pan. Moist, acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, are especially good at soaking up iron this way.
- Include a source of vitamin C (like orange juice, strawberries, or broccoli) with every meal, especially when eating vegetarian sources of iron, like beans. Vitamin C can help you absorb up to six times more iron from your food.
- Watch out for “iron inhibitors,” which are naturally occurring substances in many healthy foods that can interfere with iron absorption. Examples of iron inhibitors include phytates in whole grains and legumes, polyphenols in coffee and tea, oxalates in soy foods and spinach, and calcium in dairy products.
If you have low iron or iron-deficiency anemia, some experts believe you shouldn’t eat iron-inhibiting foods at the same time as iron-rich foods. Others believe it’s okay to eat these foods together as long as your overall diet includes plenty of iron-rich and vitamin C-rich foods. Your provider or a dietitian can work with you to create a prenatal nutrition plan that supports healthy iron levels.
Do you need iron supplements during pregnancy?
You may. Many women start their pregnancy without enough iron to meet their body’s increased demands and are unable to bring their levels up through diet alone. But you won’t need to take additional supplements unless your provider advises you to. The iron in your prenatal vitamin will likely be all you need, unless you have (or develop) anemia.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a number of nutrient fluctuations which have to be neutralized by taking supplements. Be it low iron, calcium or protein, it is hard to maintain healthy levels of nutrients during pregnancy. According to a new study, women can
People take iron supplements for preventing and treating low levels of iron (iron deficiency) and the resulting iron deficiency anemia. In people with iron deficiency anemia, the red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen to the body because they don’t have enough iron. People with this condition often feel very tired.
Iron is also used for improving athletic performance and learning problems, and treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and canker sores. Some people also use iron for Crohn’s disease, heart failure, breath-holding attacks in children, growth in children, depression, fatigue, improving thinking, and the inability to get pregnant.
Women sometimes take iron supplements to make up for iron lost in heavy menstrual periods. Iron-rich foods, such as pork, ham, chicken, fish, beans, and especially beef, liver, and lamb are also used.
How does it work?
Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to cells all over the body. Once the oxygen is delivered, iron then helps red blood cells carry carbon dioxide waste back to the lungs to be exhaled. Iron also plays a role in many important chemical reactions in the body.
Lack of iron, vitamin C, and folic acid can lead to the development of anemia in the body. As a result, the level of hemoglobin decreases, which gives the blood a red color and transports oxygen to tissues and cells. A healthy hemoglobin level is important for the regulation of redox processes in the body and energy metabolism.
What foods contain iron?
- Meat, poultry, pork, fish
- Dried beans and peas
- Dried fruits (raisins, apricots)
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Iron-fortified breakfast cereals, breads, and pastas
- Peanuts, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts
There are two forms of iron in the diet: heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is in animal products including meat, pork, fish, and poultry and is the most easily absorbed form of iron for the body.
Nonheme iron is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. However, nonheme iron is not completely absorbed by the body. Its absorption may be enhanced when paired with high vitamin C foods including oranges, strawberries, bell peppers and kiwi.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia
- Fatigue/extreme tiredness
- Tired more quickly than normal with exercise
- Pale skin
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Cravings for non-food items such as ice
Who is at risk for iron deficiency?
- Infants Pre-term infants often require iron supplementation due to increased needs for rapid growth. Full term infants tend to have sufficient iron from their mothers’ iron stores, iron fortified formula, and iron fortified cereals. However, some full term infants may require iron supplementation starting at 4-6 months of age.
- Toddlers Toddlers are at risk for iron deficiency if dietary iron intake is insufficient when switched to cow’s milk. Milk is not a good source of iron. Excessive milk drinking can limit the ability of toddlers to eat iron rich food. Limiting milk may help to increase intake of iron rich foods; it is recommended to limit milk to 16-24 ounces per day in toddlers.
- Restrictive Diets (vegetarians, vegans) Vegetarians/vegans are at increased risk for iron deficiency due to limited intake of heme iron from animal products. It’s recommended for those following a restrictive diet to increase intake of nonheme iron. Depending on your child’s dietary restrictions an iron containing multivitamin may also be recommended.
What are the side effects of oral iron supplements?
Oral iron supplements can cause the following side effects:
- Dark stools
- Upset stomach
- Constipation (you may need to take a stool softener)
How long will I have to take an oral iron supplement?
Your doctor will let you know how long you will have to take the iron supplement. Usually, after your hemoglobin and iron levels are back to normal, you will continue to take the iron supplement for another six months. Afterward, you will have regular blood tests to measure your iron level.