During pregnancy stages, many changes occur in the body, especially the hormones and blood values. Iron deficiency in pregnancy is one of the problems that mothers are suffering from in this sense. The level of iron deficiency is of great importance for the health of the mother and the baby. Severe iron deficiency seen in pregnancy can cause health risks such as baby death, immune system weakness and infection.
With a few important changes in the diet and life style, mothers can have a comfortable pregnancy without experiencing iron deficiency. For this, pregnant women need to be informed about the causes, symptoms and treatment of iron deficiency.
Causes of Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy
1.Increased iron requirement: Iron consumption increases in pregnancy due to the needs of the fetus and increased blood volume. Iron absorption increases during pregnancy especially in 2nd and 3rd trimester. But even so, iron taken from foods is not enough to meet the need. Therefore, iron supplementation is required.
- Insufficient iron storage
Iron stores in the body are empty or low due to;
- Frequent birth and miscarriage,
- Frequent infection and especially parasitic diseases,
Iron Deficiency Symptoms in Pregnancy
- Loss of appetite,
- Digestive system disorders,
- Thinning of the nails,
- Shortness of breath.
Damages of the Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the mother’s blood volume increases. For this reason, more blood cell production is required. Iron is needed in the production of these blood cells. In severe iron deficiency anemia, low birth weight babies, baby death in the womb, weakening of the immune system and the risk of infection increases greatly.
In the last months of pregnancy, the body’s iron stores must be filled to prepare for delivery. If there is bleeding during delivery, blood transfusion may be needed if blood values decrease. Mothers who have anemia may experience symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, palpitations, the desire to eat things like earth.
How to Prevent Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy?
Pregnant women should consume at least 2-3 servings of iron-containing foods during the day. Meat is one of the most iron-containing foods. Some of the foods containing iron for vegetarian women; green vegetables, raisins, molasses, nuts, peanuts, eggs and dried legumes.
Vitamin C is separated from other vitamins by its ability to increase iron absorption. Therefore orange juice, tomato juice and salad etc. helps the body to absorb iron. To get more information about vitamin C : Vitamin C in Pregnancy.
Tea and coffee consumption reduces the passage of iron into the body. For that reason, tea should be drinked less and at least 1 hour after the meal. Likewise, calcium is a mineral that reduces iron absorption. Therefore, it would be more correct to not consume foods such as milk and yoghurt with iron-containing foods.
Nutrition For Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy
Red meat, eggs, fish, oats, lentils, rice, wheat bran, brewer’s yeast, molasses, sunflower seeds, green-leaf raw vegetables, as well as the absorption of iron in animal source foods is better than others.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy
Iron requirement in pregnancy is 3-4 mg daily. Although the mother consumes iron-containing nutrients, it is difficult to meet the increasing need only with foods. Therefore, every mother should use supplements that contain iron, especially in the last three months. You should also take a look for the vitamin supplementation in pregnancy : Vitamin Supplements During Pregnancy Stages.