Iron intake is essential for the body because iron is aid to produce hemoglobin to the body. Haemoglobin, the protein in RBC (Red Blood Cells) that are used to carry oxygen to the body organs and tissues present in the body. During pregnancy the body of the woman requires more iron intake because her body carries 50% more blood than usual.
If any woman is suffering from lack of iron that means she has more chances to acquire anaemia. According to the study, Inidan women are more iron deficient than the women of any other country because they take vegetarian diet which is usually low in iron.
As per the estimation, the deficiency of Iron increases the chances of complications during pregnancy. Some common issues are:
- Baby is small than it’s gestational age.
- premature birth
- low birth weight baby
Therefore, the iron intake is necessary for the pregnant woman. Along with this, it is also helpful in enhancing immune system, growth of the placenta, and help to prevent infant mortality.
When to start taking iron tablets in pregnancy
Generally, doctors recommend to don’t take iron supplement until the woman completes their 12 weeks pregnancy because first 12 weeks are crucial time of pregnancy and gives harmful effect to the fetus. After 12 weeks to till the time of delivery a woman can take the iron intake to fulfill their blood requirement and immunity system.
Doctors recommend daily iron and folic acid supplements to pregnant women to prevent maternal anaemia, low birth weight, puerperal sepsis, and preterm birth. The quantity ofiron and folic acid supplement is 30 mg to 60 mg for iron and 0.4 mg for folic acid on daily basis.
Best time to take iron tablets during pregnancy
The perfect time to take iron supplements is one or two hour before or after meals because iron pills are absorbed will on an empty stomach. Doctors always recommend taking the iron tablets only with water as the other foods such as tea, milk, coffee, etc can deplete their value.
Some iron supplements list for pregnancy
Along with various foods containing iron, doctors also prescribe iron supplements. It doesn’t mean that you have iron deficiency but your body needs more iron than usual intake along with prenatal vitamins with about 30 mg (iron).
There are some points about iron supplements which are need to remember as follows:
- Take appropriate dosage of iron supplements daily. If you skipped one then, don’t take two the next day.
- Eat fiber-rich foods when you are on iron supplements as the medicines tend to harden the stool making it difficult to pass.
- Always check the manufacturing and expiry date of the supplement.
- In case of any allergic reactions immediately rush t the doctor.
Iron during pregnancy first trimester
As we already say that, Iron is only to increase your iron intake that doesn’t mean al all that you are iron deficient.
There are quite a few reasons for not supplementing iron in the first trimester of pregnancy in women with no iron deficiency:
- Negligible demand by the embryo.
- During the first trimester the intake of iron pills causes lot of gastric problems, morning sickness which is very obvious at this period.
- High iron stores in the body have been associated with malformations of the embryo in animal studies.
The demand of iron supplementation is inevitable in the second trimester of the pregnancy as the iron demand from the growing embryo cannot be fulfilled by dietary iron alone and will lead to iron deficiency.