When thinking about having iron during pregnancy you should know that this is one of the most important nutrients for the development of the baby and the health of the mother.
There are many changes going on in your body and many of them require iron. So, why do pregnant women need iron?
Iron and blood
The blood of the baby is produced by its mother. This is why during pregnancy the blood level of women rises about 50%. In order to create all this extra blood (especially hemoglobin) there is need for iron.
In the same time the placenta also needs iron to develop, mostly during the second and third trimester.
In many cases women have an insufficiency to start with, even before they get pregnant. They have to make up for this gap during their pregnancy.
In case a woman is affected by anemia or iron deficiency, she may go through preterm childbirth. Other side effects include infant mortality and low birth weight.
Iron and pregnancy even before conception
Even before women get pregnant they should have a normal level of iron. This way their body will produce the right amount of hemoglobin that transports oxygen to the cells.
In the same time, iron has a role to play in the production of myglobin, the protein that transports oxygen to the muscles.
Collagen is also made of iron. This is a protein that can be found in the cartilage, bone and connective tissue. Besides being a building block of different enzymes, it also helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
Pregnant women should have 27 mg of iron per day. Before and after pregnancy it is enough to have 18 mg per day. Women don’t have to get the required amount daily, but this should be the average amount of iron while being pregnant.