Is it safe to take iron supplements during pregnancy? Of course, however, the dose should be as recommended by your doctor. If you are pregnant, you need about twice the amount of iron than is needed before being pregnant. Why? This is because your body uses the iron to give extra blood to your baby.
However, about 50% of pregnant women do not get enough of these essential iron mineral from their diet. To help keep your iron levels under control, you can eat iron-rich foods and take iron supplements during pregnancy as recommended by your doctor.
I. What Are The Benefits of Iron?
During pregnancy, your body uses the iron to make extra blood cells or hemoglobin for you and your baby. Iron also helps to move oxygen from the lungs throughout your body and to your baby. Getting enough iron can prevent iron deficiency anemia, the condition when the red blood cells are too few and it can make you feel tired. Having anemia can cause your baby to be born too early or too small.
II. How Much Iron You Need
How much is iron per day safe? Pregnant women need 27 milligrams (mg) of iron per day while women who do not get pregnant require 18 mg of iron. Actually, you do not need to get the recommended total iron requirement in pregnancy every day. Instead, aim the amount of iron requirement as an average for a few days or a week.
III. What Foods Are High in Iron?
You can find this mineral in plant-based foods, poultry, meat, and iron supplements during pregnancy. There are two types of iron for pregnancy. Firstly, Heme iron is a kind of iron that your body can absorb well. You can get heme iron in chicken, beef, turkey, and pork. Secondly, Nonheme iron is another kind, which you can find in tofu, spinach, beans, and ready-to-eat-cereals that have iron.
Some iron-rich foods include: 3 ounces of chicken liver contain 11 mg of iron, 3 ounces of beef liver contain 5.2 mg, Iron-fortified ready-to-eat cereal contains 18 mg, Iron-fortified instant oatmeal contains 11 mg, 1 cup of kidney beans contain 5.2 mg, half a cup of raisins contains 1.6 mg, 1 cup of five beans contain 4.5 mg, 1 cup of lentils contain 6.6 mg, 1 cup of soybeans contains 8.8 mg, and 3 ounces or canned of oysters contain 5.7 mg.
IV. Side Effects of Iron Supplements During Pregnancy
Besides the benefits of iron to be consumed during pregnancy, iron supplements pregnancy, including 100 mg iron supplement pregnancy tablets can interfere with your gastrointestinal tract. The most common complaint is constipation.
The constipation is a common problem for many pregnant women. If you have constipation, try drinking prune juice. This is actually a good source of iron and this can help you keep regular bowel movements.
You may also experience diarrhea and nausea. If your iron supplements during pregnancy make you feel sick or nausea, try taking them at bedtime or with a small snack. If you experience other side effects, talk to your doctor.
If your prenatal vitamin has more than 30 mg of iron and you do not suffer from anemia, it might make sense for you to switch to one with lower doses. Think twice also with carbonyl iron dose in pregnancy and seek advice from your doctor about that.
If you have anemia, you may be able to prevent abdominal problems by taking the iron supplement pregnancy that contains low iron and gradually increase the dose as you need. You can also try taking the iron supplements for pregnancy in smaller doses throughout the day.
Your doctor may prescribe or suggest different the best iron supplements for pregnancy that are more suitable in your stomach. For example, some mom-to-be have fewer side effects when taking a timed-release iron pill for pregnancy.
Finally, when you start taking iron supplements during pregnancy, do not worry if your stools look darker. It’s a harmless side effect and still quite normal. Besides needing iron supplements during pregnancy that are aimed at preventing anemia or lack of blood cells, you may need to take fiber supplements to overcome constipation during pregnancy. As known, the constipation is a common problem for pregnant women.