Lack of Iron in Pregnancy: How to Prevent and Overcome?

The lack of iron in pregnancy and anemia are very common in pregnant women. Read our article and find out how to prevent and overcome this problem.

The lack of iron in pregnancy gives rise, in the majority of cases, the medical problem is more frequent in pregnant women: anemia. Not to say that is the most important, but it is the most frequent.

Anemia plays a vital role: the transport of oxygen to the tissues of the body.

Hence the need to give the issue the importance it really has, especially in pregnancy.

Lack of Iron in Pregnancy How to Prevent and Overcome 1

WHAT IS ANEMIA?

It is a situation that results in a decrease in the number and size of red blood cells or a decreased concentration of hemoglobin in the blood to a value below the reference for age and for sex.

The main causes are nutritional, that is, for lack of contribution, in most cases, of iron. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of the cases of anemia in pregnancy are iron deficiency.

The function of this mineral is part of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen through the blood to the different tissues of the mother and the baby, so that is a key to a good fetal development and a correct state of maternal health during pregnancy.

REFERENCE VALUES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

According to the World Health Organization, the value that defines the existence of anaemia is a haemoglobin value below 12 g/dl.

In pregnancy, these values are different. In the second trimester of pregnancy, it is acceptable that the pregnant woman has a value of 10.5 g/dl, while in the first and third quarters, the value is expected to be around 11 g/dl.

Lack of Iron in Pregnancy How to Prevent and Overcome 2

ANEMIA : HOW IT MANIFESTS ITSELF?

The most common symptom is fatigue. However, as the pregnancy itself, it masks too much of this symptomatology, the people attribute the fatigue to the pregnancy and neglect the possibility of anemia.

In addition to the tiredness may be a set of symptoms are very wide:

  • Paleness;
  • Hair loss;
  • Changes of the skin;
  • The fragility of the nails;
  • A poor response to exertion, tachycardia or shortness of breath can be symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy.

It is a very vast group of symptoms, which does not always have to exist at all, not at all pregnant.

LACK OF IRON IN PREGNANCY: WHAT CONSEQUENCES?

Anemia in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of diseases maternal, and fetal, especially when the hemoglobin is below 10.5 g/dl.

In the case of the mother, can occur heart failure, post-delivery bleeding, among other problems. A uterus in the context of anemia, iron-deficiency, may have minor weaknesses in fibrils muscle and difficulty in contracting.

There may also be a pre-disposition to infection, delay in recovery post-cesarean section, and some risk of accidents embolic.

For the baby, there is an increased risk of delay of intrauterine growth, low birth weight, prematurity, and risk of fetal death in the uterus three times higher.

In the future, there may be even impairment in cognitive development and mental abilities.

Lack of Iron in Pregnancy How to Prevent and Overcome 3

LACK OF IRON IN PREGNANCY: PREVENTION AND CORRECTION

1. POWER

Pregnancy generates standard is a negative balance of iron, mainly from the second quarter, as there is a significant growth of the fetus and the placenta, and it is necessary to increase the mass erythrocyte of the mother.

As such, the woman should prepare from the point of view of the nutritional balance for pregnancy, or is, you should check if there is already an anemia prior and correct it, as well as the pledge that have been returned to the deposits of iron from the body, something that can take months.

With respect to prevention, the only way to prevent anaemia is to ensure a diet rich in iron.

The recommended daily intake of iron doubles during pregnancy and passes to approximately 18 milligrams to 27 milligrams per day (particularly in the third quarter).

In this sense, the first care to decrease the likelihood of suffering from lack of iron during pregnancy and anemia is to have a balanced diet, combining the iron of vegetable origin (iron non-haem) iron from animal origin (iron-heme).

Sources of iron

The Iron heme is one that is found in meat, especially red meat and offal, and fish, such as shellfish, and is easily absorbed by the body (about 25%).

Already the non-heme Iron is found in whole-grain or enriched, legumes, fruits, green leafy vegetables and dairy products being much less absorbed (only 1 to 5%).

Interaction of iron with other nutrients and food

In addition to a diet rich in iron, increase the intake of foods rich in vitamin C, as this vitamin increases the absorption of iron by the body.

For this reason it is advisable to eat foods such as citrus fruits (kiwis, oranges, lemon), tomatoes, strawberries among others at the time of the intake of iron-rich foods.

On the contrary, the coffee, the tea, the egg yolk and the milk and derivatives decrease the absorption of iron, so that, in the case of anemia, you should reduce your consumption and avoid to combine the intake of these foods with the intake of iron-rich foods.

2. SUPPLEMENTATION

However, as it is very difficult to just through food be able to address this increase in needs that pregnancy generates, the supplementation of pharmacological, especially from the second quarter is usually the most common form of correction of a lack of iron in pregnancy.

This supplementation with iron should be made orally, regularly, daily and at the dose indicated, for pregnancy to proceed in a healthy way.

As some iron supplements can produce constipation or nausea, it is recommended that you increase the intake of water and eat more fiber (fiber is present in whole grains, fruits and vegetables).

It should also be noted that the supplements, multivitamins, as a rule, do not have the amount of iron required. As such, the add-in should be specifically iron.

NOTE

In spite of all that has been mentioned in this article, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor and consult a nutritionist to obtain a food plan appropriate for your situation.

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