Iron is an essential nutrition during pregnancy. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your red blood cell is less than the required count. During pregnancy, iron helps create haemoglobin for you and your baby. Lack of haemoglobin can cause tiredness, breathlessness and can have severe complications like preterm delivery, infant mortality, or low birth weight.
How much Iron is needed during pregnancy?
A normal person needs 18 mg of iron every day. During pregnancy, this intake should be around 27 mg every day.
What are the causes of low iron?
- Lack of Iron in your diet: If your diet does not contain enough of iron, you might get iron deficiency. If you are a vegetarian, ensure you also get proper vitamin C in your diet so that your body absorbs the iron you take.
- Loss of blood: If you have any previous surgery experience where you had lost a lot of blood, you can be the case of iron deficiency. Women with high blood loss during periods can also get iron deficiency.
- Lack of Iron Supplements during Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a period when your body need more iron, not only for you but also for your baby. Consult your doctor and take iron supplements so that you are getting enough iron you need. Try to even iron intake in your daily diet.
- Frequent Blood Donor: If you are a frequent blood donor, you might be the case of iron deficiency.
What are the symptoms of low iron?
- Pale skin
- Poor appetite
- Cold hands and feet
What are the risks of low iron during pregnancy?
If you have iron deficiency during pregnancy, it can lead to complications like:
- Preterm Delivery
- Low Birth Weight
- Infant Mortality
What are the foods that have iron?
You can get iron from both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food. Iron from Non-Vegetarian food is called as Heme Iron. The body best absorb this kind of iron. The food in this category are specially the red meet like beef, chicken, pork etc.
The other kind of iron is Non-heme Iron which you get from the vegetarian food. The food in this category are your green vegetables like Okra, spinach, beans etc. Other food includes tofu, cereals etc. If you are a vegetarian, ensure that you are including a good quantity of these items in your everyday diet. To help your body absorb iron better, increase your Vitamin C intake like tomatoes, oranges etc.
It is quite normal to have iron deficiency if you are a vegetarian. Don’t panic, consult your doctor. Take iron supplement as suggested by the doctor. Include food rich in iron in your everyday diet.