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Women’s specialists in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA: why iron is important during pregnancy

Women’s specialists in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA: why iron is important during pregnancy

Women’s specialists explain why women need more iron during pregnancy

Women’s specialists understand that when you just find out that you are pregnant you may start to focus on doing everything right, such as getting exercise, eating healthy, and choosing the right prenatal vitamins, including supplements for iron.

You don’t need to go to the gym to pump iron. You should be pumping it into your diet when pregnant. To support your and your baby’s developing blood supply, iron will be essential during your pregnancy.

This mineral is very vital for the growth of your baby that your daily intake recommendation will almost double during pregnancy. Your risk of developing anemia can be increased when having low iron stores, severe iron deficiency can lead to premature birth or a low weight at birth.

Why is iron important when pregnant?

Your body will start to produce more blood when taking iron supplements. This is a big deal for future mothers, this is because the total volume of blood in your system will double during the time of your pregnancy.

In order to meet the new demands of extra volume for blood, the placenta, and your growing baby, you will, on average, need approximately 30 mg of elemental iron each day. Most prenatal vitamins will have this much iron, which will be almost double the amount a woman who is not pregnant requires.

Adding iron to your diet

Upping the amount of iron that your body is receiving can also make a difference in addition to taking iron supplements. However, not all foods that contain iron are created the same. There are two different types of iron nutrients: heme and non-heme. Vegetables, beans, eggs, dried fruits, iron-fortified products, and whole grains are where you can typically find non-heme iron. Animal sources such as fish, red meat, and poultry are where heme iron will come from. Heme iron absorbs best in your body, so it will be a good idea to focus on these foods to keep these levels up during your pregnancy.

What are the side effects of iron supplements?

While pregnant or breastfeeding, try not to get more than 45 mg of iron each day. Only take your supplements exactly as recommended by your doctor.

You may start to experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation while taking iron supplements. After a few days, your body may start to adjust to the extra amount of iron. Eating foods that are high in fiber and drinking plenty of water may also help with constipation. You may consider trying to take the supplements with food or in two separate doses if you are still experiencing side effects. Or, try asking your doctor if taking a stool softener is safe.

Women’s specialists in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA

Women’s specialists agree that even if you begin to develop an iron deficiency while pregnant, these numbers will most likely return to normal after giving birth. However, if your iron levels do drop, you should continue to load up on your iron intake to help rebuild your iron levels so you will have all the needed energy to keep up with your new baby.

Contact your top Alpharetta and Atlanta OBGYN for your obstetrics and gynecology care.

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