What do pregnant women need to be aware of when they want to supplement iron so that they can be healthy?
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What do pregnant women need to be aware of when they want to supplement iron so that they can be healthy?

Pregnant women are very vulnerable to iron deficiency, leading to anemia. Therefore, they especially need iron supplements every day to ensure the health of both mother and fetus.

So, what should pregnant women be aware of when supplementing with iron? Please find out in the following article.

Symptoms of iron deficiency in pregnant women

The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that helps transport oxygen to tissues. During pregnancy, women need twice the amount of iron to provide oxygen to their babies, an average of 27 milligrams of iron daily. However, up to 50% of pregnant women do not get enough of this important micronutrients during pregnancy.

When the body doesn’t get enough iron, pregnant women can develop iron-deficiency anemia. Severe anemia greatly affects the health of the mother and baby, increasing the risk of premature birth, low birth weight babies and postpartum depression. Some studies show that iron deficiency anemia also increases the risk of death in newborn babies.

Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women include:

– Tired

– Weakness

– Pale skin

– Irregular heartbeat

– Shortness of breath

– Dizziness, confusion

– Chest pain

– Cold hands and feet

– Headache

Headache is a symptom of iron deficiency during pregnancy

The symptoms of anemia are often similar to the signs of pregnancy in general. Therefore, whether symptoms appear or not, pregnant women should still have blood tests to screen for iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy.

Pregnant women with iron deficiency should eat?

Pregnant women can get iron from animal or plant sources through their daily diet. Some iron-rich foods include:

– Instant oatmeal

– Instant cereal

– Raisins

– Legumes (kidney beans, lentils, soy)

– Oysters milk

– Chicken


– Beef

– Pork

– Dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, jute, celery …)

– Fruits contain lots of vitamin C to enhance the absorption of iron (oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries …)

Note when supplementing iron for pregnant women

To make the process of iron supplementation and absorption easier, pregnant women should pay attention to the following:

Do not take iron and calcium at the same time

Iron and calcium are both essential nutrients for pregnancy. However, you should not add them at the same time because it can create adverse interactions. Pregnant women should take calcium and iron supplements at two different times to get the most effect, avoiding iron deficiency.

Do not drink iron with tea and coffee

Tea and coffee are two drinks that are high in caffeine and tannin, which interfere with the body’s absorption of iron. In addition, beer and wine are also factors that adversely affect the process of micronutrient supplementation.

Take iron with orange juice, lemon or water rich in vitamin C

Foods and juices that are high in vitamin C make iron absorption easier. Pregnant women can take iron pills with vitamin C-rich juice or vitamin C supplements when eating iron-rich vegetables.

Drink orange juice when taking iron

Processing iron-rich foods with pots and pans made of cast iron

Cooking iron-rich foods with cast iron pots or pans will help reduce the loss of iron in foods. This helps retain the highest amount of iron to supplement pregnant women during eating.

Iron is supplemented primarily through the consumption of food or iron tablets. However, in some cases, women with a history of gastric / small intestinal surgery or who are unable to tolerate iron in the usual way may require intravenous iron injections.

Ensuring the body gets enough iron during pregnancy can be quite difficult, even if pregnant women pay more attention to the iron in their daily diet. In particular, for vegetarians, the risk of iron-deficiency anemia is very high, because they do not eat iron-rich meats. Therefore, pregnant women need to contact their doctor to monitor the level of iron and hemoglobin in the blood more carefully, avoiding anemia affecting pregnancy.

Dung Nguyen / HELLO BACSI

You may be interested in the topic:

  • Iron deficiency anemia in women is becoming common
  • 10 signs of iron deficiency you may not know
  • Nutrition menu for pregnant women lack iron

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Date Posted: April 16, 2020 | Last updated: April 16, 2020

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