Most mums-to-be understand the importance of folate or folic acid for a healthy pregnancy. But did you know that iron is equally important, for both mother and baby? So why?
- Iron is vital for supporting the process of cell division and ensuring healthy foetal development
- Your own body needs extra iron too to make a huge amount of new blood, support the placenta, prepare for giving birth and give you that all-important energy!
- Iron deficiency in pregnancy is really common. By the third trimester a woman’s iron requirement jumps from 18mg per day to 30mg – that’s quite a lot to get through diet alone
- Many pregnant women do not get enough iron. Your blood volume increases by 50% when you are pregnant so the need for iron also doubles
- Its especially hard to meet your target if you’re vegetarian or vegan, carrying twins or have a history of heat periods. In fact, 1 in 7 pregnant women in the UK develop iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy
- Even slightly low iron levels can make you feel overwhelming tiredness, dizziness, breathlessness or faint.
- Too little iron during pregnancy has also been linked to low birth weight, premature delivery and an increased risk of bleeding after birth
Your midwife will check your iron levels via routine blood tests at your antenatal appointments. If you’re found to be iron deficient, you may be recommended an iron supplement.
There is some recent research that suggests there is a possible link to iron-deficiency anaemia in early pregnancy and neurodevelopment disorders. Although more research is needed, it is probably best to avoid iron deficiency anaemia.
Marie Louise, The Modern Midwife says
“Such a high proportion of pregnant women that I care for have low iron, which is tested at their booking appointment and throughout pregnancy. Keeping on top of their energy levels is important for the production of more red blood cells - which carry oxygen around the body and to your baby, is imperative throughout pregnancy. Women that are low in iron, usually feel more lethargic.”
Blueiron Pregnancy is a new liquid iron supplement for pregnant women to give them a natural energy boost. It contains the RDA of iron and vitamin c for enhanced absorption and can be taken alongside other pregnancy supplements.
tagged in Pregnancy