How Should Pregnant Women Supplement Iron Properly?

How Should Pregnant Women Supplement Iron Properly?

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1. Effects Of Iron On Pregnant Women's Health

Iron is responsible for participating in the process of forming red blood cells in the blood, enzymes in the immune system, helping the body increase resistance to pathogens. diseases from the external environment.
When a normal person's body is deficient in iron, it faces many medical risks. For pregnant mothers, iron deficiency not only affects the mother's health but also affects the development of the fetus.

A pregnant woman needs a larger amount of blood than usual to serve the nutritional needs of her child as well as increase the resistance of both mother and baby.
In addition, iron also helps increase appetite, so if pregnant women have anemia due to iron deficiency, they will often have difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and body fatigue due to lack of oxygen due to blood transport. transferred to the brain and other organs. Pregnant women with iron deficiency also have reduced resistance, are susceptible to infections and affect the fetus. In many cases, children born to mothers with iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy also suffer from anemia and poor health.

The Importance of Iron During Pregnancy – Pacific Prime China's Blog

Iron is very important for pregnant mothers and fetuses.

Another risk for pregnant women with iron deficiency is the risk of premature birth, postpartum hemorrhage, high postpartum infections, body weakness,... causing The fetus is malnourished, born prematurely, has a low birth weight, and greatly affects the child's future physical and intellectual development.

For the above reasons, pregnant mothers should be careful to supplement enough iron for the body throughout pregnancy according to instructions from an obstetrician. At the same time, if symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, fainting, etc. appear, there is a high possibility that the mother is iron deficient. At this time, pregnant mothers need to be taken to the doctor to find out the cause and have a reasonable iron supplement plan.
Not only iron deficiency but too much iron is equally dangerous. This condition can cause the mother to have signs such as black stools, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, etc. Because excess free iron will lead to increased hemoglobin concentration in the blood, causing obstruction. Impeding the mother's blood supply to the fetus can easily lead to complications of premature birth and low birth weight babies after birth.

2. Instructions For Proper Iron Supplementation For Pregnant Women

2.1. Suitable Iron Content For Pregnant Mothers Every Day

Before pregnancy, each woman needs to supplement a minimum amount of iron of 15mg/day.
During pregnancy, because the baby will increasingly grow in the mother's body, the mother needs to supplement twice the normal amount of iron (about 30mg/day).
According to recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), when a woman first discovers she is pregnant, she should continue to use 1 iron pill/day, this dosage should be maintained until one month after giving birth. The supplement dose should be 60mg of iron taken with 400mcg of folic acid per day. In particular, you should use functional products fortified with folic acid and iron as prescribed by your doctor.

2.2. Foods Rich In Iron Are Very Suitable For Pregnant Women

The foods we consume every day are the richest source of iron. Iron is found in poultry, heart, liver, fish, oysters, clams, and egg yolks; Dried fruits, dark green vegetables, cereals, beans, pumpkin, broccoli, etc. Compared to plants, the body absorbs iron from animals better.
Besides focusing on iron supplementation during pregnancy, pregnant mothers should also pay attention to supplementing other substances such as folic acid, Folate, vitamin B12,... because these substances also play an important role in the process. blood formation.

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Pregnant mothers should also pay attention to supplementing iron through foods in their daily diet 

In addition to the iron-containing foods mentioned above, pregnant women can also supplement iron through medications or other functional foods.

2.3. What Should Pregnant Mothers Pay Attention To When Taking Iron-containing Medications?

There are 2 forms of iron supplements for pregnant mothers: organic iron (iron gluconate and iron fumarate) and inorganic iron (iron sulfate). Compared to inorganic iron, organic iron is often easier to absorb, and also less likely to cause constipation.
There are currently two dosage forms of iron on the market: iron tablets or liquid iron. The advantage of iron water is that it causes less heat, less constipation, is easy to absorb, and easily causes nausea, so it is quite difficult to drink. The advantage of iron tablets is that they cause less nausea, so they are easier to drink, but they easily cause heat and have poorer absorption than liquid iron.

During the iron supplementation process, pregnant mothers need to pay special attention to the following issues:
* Do not use iron pills at the same time as milk, calcium supplements or foods high in calcium for pregnant women because this will reduce the ability absorption of iron;
* You should only take iron tablets on an empty stomach with filtered water, do not take iron with drinks containing lots of vitamin C such as lemon juice, orange juice,...;
* Iron tablets should be taken about 1 - 2 hours after meals because this is the time when iron is best absorbed;
* When taking iron for pregnant women, mothers should drink it with lots of water combined with foods high in fiber because it will help limit constipation. Mothers should only use cooled boiled water when taking iron instead of other drinks such as tea, coffee,...

5 Best Iron Supplements for Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers can supplement iron through functional foods.

In general, iron supplementation for pregnant women should be prescribed by specialists. Use the correct dosage and type of medication according to the manufacturer's and doctor's instructions to avoid iron deficiency or excess causing myocardial complications, cirrhosis, diabetes, etc.