Did you know that you are more likely to become anemic during pregnancy? This is because your iron requirements jump during pregnancy. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. During pregnancy the amount of blood in your body increases by 50%, you need the extra iron to make more hemoglobin for all the extra blood. You will also need more iron for your baby and the placenta.
Are You at High Risk for Iron Deficiency?
Most women don’t start their pregnancy with enough iron, so they are playing catch up from the beginning. If you get too low in iron and you are not making enough hemoglobin, you become anemic. If you have any of these conditions you are at a higher risk for being Iron deficient: If you are carrying more than one baby, if you have severe morning sickness that causes frequent vomiting, if you have two or more pregnancies close together, or if you are on a diet that is not high in iron to begin with.
How To Get Enough Iron
The recommended daily amount of Iron is 18 milligrams, but during pregnancy, it is 27 milligrams. If your doctor finds you to be anemic, he/she may put you on an iron supplement. Most prenatal vitamins have iron in them but sometimes you need a little more. You can also try eating more red meat and shellfish. Non-animal iron-rich foods include beans, lentils, tofu, raisins, dates, prunes, figs, apricots, potatoes (leave the skin on), broccoli, beets, leafy green vegetables, whole grain breads, nuts and seeds, blackstrap molasses, oatmeal, and iron-fortified cereals.
It usually takes just a few months to resolve anemia once you have started a treatment plan and you can also take comfort in knowing that those who are anemic absorb more iron from there food than those who have a sufficient supply.
About the Author
Autumn Calabrese-Guzman, founder of Mighty Mommies Fitness in Los
Angeles is a life-long fitness enthusiast with 14 years of dance training. She turned her passion for dance and teaching into a desire to help women stay fit and healthy. Being a new mom to a beautiful baby boy, Autumn can relate to her clients through personal experience. Autumn holds three personal training certifications with a specialty in pre and postnatal fitness. Autumn is dedicated to teaching pregnant women how to get fit and take care of their health.