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Iron Levels in Pregnancy


There are many women who are anemic or become anemic during the course of pregnancy. Low iron levels can affect the child’s mental development in negative ways and so children born to anemic mothers generally tend to score lower in tests as compared to those children whose mothers had normal or high iron levels. The first test that you are required to do in the first trimester is the hemoglobin test which checks your blood count and if found low the doctor prescribes iron supplements. This test is again repeated in the second trimester to check whether the iron levels are normal. You can take measures to increase your blood count during pregnancy by eating food rich in iron such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, meat, dried fruits, nuts and grains. Increasing the consumption of Vitamin C can help you to increase the absorption of iron in the body.


Anemia during pregnancy is normal due to the increase in circulating blood plasma which makes the blood more diluted during pregnancy. Too high a blood count is as bad as too low a blood count during pregnancy so it is preferable for women to try and get iron from their regular diet along with a diet supplement if necessary. A high level of hemoglobin in pregnancy would help a woman to withstand hemorrhages however a low iron level implies a large circulating blood volume which can help you endure a given loss of blood. Iron tablet prescribed during pregnancy can cause constipation or pain in the stomach and should only be had if the iron levels are exceptionally low. Iron rich food should be included in the diet as the iron from such food is readily absorbed as compared to the iron from tablets. To hasten the absorption of iron you can have food rich in Vitamin C in combination with iron rich food such as lemon juice or anything sour. One should avoid tea and coffee as they hamper the absorption of iron in the body.


The recommended daily iron intake during pregnancy is 30 mg per day. A lack of iron in the diet can create a feeling of tiredness and lethargy whereas normal iron levels increase energy and resistance to infection. You must try and include the following iron rich food in your daily diet. These are namely lentils, baked beans, eggs, avocados, dried apricots, prunes, almonds, spinach, broccoli, soybeans, currents, rolled oats, wholegrain bread and breakfast cereals. A pregnant woman needs approximately 2500 calories per day and she must eat healthy food to provide the right nourishment and nutrition to her baby. A well balanced diet consisting of 10% proteins, 35% fat, and 55% carbohydrates is generally ideal which can help the iron levels to be maintained.