Iron Intake during Pregnancy

Updated at: Feb 16, 2012
Iron Intake during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a unique condition for women, wherein everyday requirement of iron differs than average woman. Know more about nutritional benefits of planned iron consumption along with health hazards from inappropriate intake.

Himanshu Sharma
PregnancyWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Feb 14, 2012

Eat in pregnancyIron is one of the essential nutritional components of a pregnancy diet. The nutrient makes an integral part of haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body for streamlined functioning of muscles. So, inclusion of iron becomes crucial to ascertain that the offspring gets enough oxygen. Among other benefits of iron intake during pregnancy is improving immunity against stress, tiredness, weakness, irritability and depression.

Balanced Intake

U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA) prescribes consumption of 30 milligrams (mg) per day for lactating (breastfeeding) and pregnant women. A consistent pattern is to be followed while fulfilling the criterion of optimum iron consumption, with 3 servings making up 30 milligrams a day.

Sources of Iron

Highly fortified breakfast cereal is one of the best ways to have iron into your daily diet. Among other rich sources of iron are lean meat, fish, poultry and leafy green vegetables. Fruits such as berries, apricots, grapes, oranges, plums, grapefruit and dried fruits like prunes are great sources of iron. Vegetables, especially black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach and lima beans are great foods to make up for the desired iron content in the body.

Iron Supplements

Including iron supplements or new foods to your regimen could prove unhealthy at times, raising the risks of health conditions such as anaemia. Inappropriate intake could bring a condition of iron overload. Therefore, consumption of iron avoids toxicity within the body that leads to several health ailments.

Therefore, seeking medical attention is advised in order to avoid unnecessary health hazards. Moreover, prenatal vitamins or iron supplements also have tendency to develop nausea. Owing to their influence on empty stomach, eating supplements at night or with foods rich in vitamin C is recommended. Some other conditions such as diarrhea, heartburn and constipation can also arise due to improper iron intake.

Other Nutrients

Vitamin C is another nutrient that should be consumed in tandem with iron. Vitamin C supplements such as pepper, citrus fruits and sweet potatoes should be included in the diet plan. In addition to vitamins, two other essential nutritional elements during pregnancy are folic acid and calcium that should consumed along with iron.


Read more articles on Pregnancy Diet



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