Why do pregnant women need iron supplements?

Why do pregnant women need iron supplements? Iron is a very important trace element, helping to form red blood cells, and strengthening the immune system, improving the body’s resistance. Iron deficiency will lead to anemia, which is very dangerous to health, especially for pregnant women.

The amount of iron needed to provide every day for pregnant mothers

Because when pregnant, women feed more babies, so the amount of blood in the body increases, the mother’s body needs to increase the production of red blood cells, need more nutrition, and more oxygen to ensure the health of the mother and child. Therefore, the amount of iron in pregnant women will double, about 60 mg/day. Without enough iron, pregnant mothers will suffer from anemia, dizziness, pale skin, fatigue, drowsiness, … and the fetus is likely to be stillborn, premature birth, developmental delay, and birth defects.

In addition, there are also many cases of pregnant women having excess iron and thalassemia. Excess iron accumulates in the mother’s body, putting pressure on the spleen and liver. Long term will lead to liver failure, diabetes due to pancreatic dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease.

According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization WHO, when they first become pregnant, women should take iron tablets every day, taking until 1 month after birth. The additional dose is 60mg of iron with 400mcg folic acid per day. Also should use iron supplements, folic acid for pregnant women.

In the case of pregnant women with severe iron deficiency, they will need an intravenous infusion at the hospital for 2-3 months.

See also, 6 Foods good for Iron deficiency anemia

Iron supplement menu for pregnant women

The safest and most secure is the iron-supplemented foods for pregnant women that are easy to absorb. Iron is abundant in red meats, heart, liver, fish, clams, oysters, beans, cereals, dark green vegetables, dried fruits. In the meal, there are about 30-90g of meat, fish, the amount of iron absorption will be 10-15%. If you eat a lot of vegetables, you will need more iron because animal-based iron absorbs better than plant-based iron. Eat a form of iron that is soluble in both animals and plants, eat enough protein, and should not eat a lot of foods rich in phosphorus as this will reduce iron absorption.

To create better blood, pregnant mothers also need to supplement Vitamin B12, Folate, and synthetic folic acid, eat banana, dark green leafy vegetables, eat bread, cereal, pasta, and soy milk.

However, during food processing, natural iron is lost, or work is busy, so pregnant mothers cannot get enough iron. So in order to meet the daily requirement of iron, it is necessary to take iron medicine.

Do pregnant mothers need to note when taking iron tablets?

Iron tablets for pregnant women usually have 2 forms of inorganic iron and organic iron. Organic iron is preferred because it is easily absorbed and causes less constipation.

In order for the body to enhance iron absorption, pregnant mothers should take iron tablets on an empty stomach and drink vitamin C-rich drinks such as orange juice, lemon juice, … because vitamin C is an iron absorption aid and is one of the Hematopoietic factors, in addition, will help relieve constipation caused by iron intake. The best time to drink iron is to wake up early in the morning or 1-2 hours after meals.

Because calcium interferes with iron absorption, when taking iron supplements, pregnant mothers should avoid taking at the same time as milk, calcium supplements, or foods high in calcium.

Avoid drinking iron with coffee, tea because tannins or caffeine will inhibit the absorption of iron.

Need to consult a specialist, absolutely do not buy iron supplements on your own, if the wrong dose can be dangerous to the health of the mother and fetus.

Due to above reasons, now you know Why do pregnant women need iron supplements? Therefore do not forget to take ferrous sulfate tablet guidance of your doctor.

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Dinesh Gamage

Scientist | Designer | Developer | Blogger

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