Iron deficiency in women is not an unknown fact. Its importance increases for a would-be mother. The lines below explain why iron is essential for a pregnant woman.
Haemoglobin Production: Since the total volume of blood increases in your body during pregnancy, it becomes necessary to increase the amount of haemoglobin in it as well. It has been estimated that the body sees 50% addition in the volume of blood during this time. Therefore, the necessity for iron grows as it the key element in the production of haemoglobin.
Enzyme and Protein Production: Iron is also quite necessary for the production of myoglobin, the protein that helps in transmitting oxygen to the various muscles of the body. This mineral also helps in the production of enzymes and collagen, the protein that is used in connective tissues, bone and cartilage. All this comes as a great help during the pregnancy phase.
Foetus Growth: You will also require iron for the development of the foetus along with the placenta. This development becomes necessary during the later stages of the gestation.
Anaemia Issue: There are many women who already have deficiency of iron and anaemic before they conceive. The requirement of iron in such cases gains utmost importance.
Infant Mortality: In case of anaemia in the phase of pregnancy, the birth is associated with low weight at birth and increases the risk of infant mortality. Iron content is much required at this time.
Requirement of Iron Content:-
Although a normal woman needs only 18 milligrams of iron in a day, a pregnant woman would require 27 milligrams on a daily basis. However, it is not necessary to reach the average amount within a week.
Iron from Food:-
Pregnant women can intake high sources of iron from red meat. The greatest source of iron concentration will come from liver but you must take it with precaution as it contains a high amount of vitamin A which is unsafe for any pregnant woman. And if you are a vegetarian, high iron sources will come from grains, legumes and vegetables for you.
The two basic types of iron include the heme-iron and the non-heme iron. The former is available in animal products exclusively while the latter can be obtained from fish, poultry and meat along with plants. The human body can easily absorb the heme-iron while the non-heme-iron, also found in iron based supplements cannot be absorbed easily by the body.
Lack of Iron in the body:-
Your body starts depleting if iron content in your body decreases with time. The body is unable to produce haemoglobin and it leads to anaemia in the victim. The body’s resistance capacity also decreases, leading to less immunity for fighting infection and if you happen to be pregnant while suffering from anaemia, the blood loss during childbirth can be great, leading to blood transfusion requirement.
Interestingly, the foetus inside you tends to balance his iron requirement within the uterus and takes his share of iron before you get a hand at it. Thus, an anaemic mother can lead to an anaemic child and retard his growth post childbirth. But there is no reason to worry if you have dark stool by taking iron based supplements, just make sure that you and your child are healthy during and after childbirth.
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