Iron during Pregnancy – An Important Supplement
What causes that “pregnancy glow” that so many women seem to have while pregnant? Poetically speaking, the glow is from the knowledge and anticipation of the life growing inside of a woman’s body. Technically it can be linked to an increase in blood volume. Women typically see a gain of 40-50% in blood levels during pregnancy.
This increased blood volume boosts blood flow to the uterus and kidneys. The increase also compensates for the blood lost during delivery. Blood pressure can decrease during pregnancy because of the increased volume.
Anemia, too few red blood cells, can develop during pregnancy. The red blood cells can become diluted as a result of the increased blood. The fetus uses the mother’s red blood cells to aid in development. This is especially important during the third trimester.
Anemia may manifest itself in the following ways: fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing. Anemia is diagnosed with blood testing and is not restricted to pregnancy. Anyone can develop anemia, but it is twice as likely in women as in men.
The best prevention for anemia is taking an iron supplement. Many women have a hard time tolerating iron during pregnancy, so it is important to try different products until you find one that works for you.
An easy way to prevent anemia is to start storing iron before you become pregnant. Many women do not realize the advantages of taking a prenatal vitamin before conception. Taking this vitamin will help your body to store up vital nutrients for pregnancy. Iron is stored in bone marrow and any iron stored up before pregnancy can be used during pregnancy to aid in fetal development.
It is important to continue to take iron during pregnancy. If you have a hard time tolerating the iron in your prenatal vitamin, try another prenatal that might be better tolerated. Promise Prenatal vitamins contain micro-encapsulated iron, which tends to be gentler on the stomach. The iron is released over time, which alleviates the number one cause of iron-related nausea–it hits the stomach all at once.
Another important nutrient for pre-pregnancy is Folic Acid. By taking 600 mcg of Folic Acid before and during pregnancy you are greatly lowering your baby’s chances of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Folic Acid and Iron are often found in the same food types. Many vegans do not receive the nutrients necessary for pregnancy through food alone. Meat, poultry, fish, grain products, leafy vegetables, and dairy products are important sources of nutrients for pregnancy.
You will typically not know that you are pregnant until after week two. This is another great reason to start taking your prenatal supplement when begin to try to conceive. Very few women get the nutrients they need from food alone.
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