Iron is a micronutrient that is especially important for pregnant women. Iron supplementation for pregnant women is not enough, leading to anemia, increasing the risk of hemorrhage, postpartum infections, so how is iron supplementation for pregnant women correct and sufficient in each stage?
The Role Of Iron For Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, the circulating volume increases by 50% of normal to meet the growing needs of the baby.
According to statistics, a woman’s body during pregnancy needs a large amount of iron to meet three needs: increase blood volume, supply blood to the fetus and compensate for blood loss after childbirth.
Iron is the basic material of hemoglobin. This is the ingredient that gives the blood its red color, it provides oxygen to the cells in the mother’s body and the fetus, and brings carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as other products of metabolism from cells to cells. Lungs for expulsion.
Iron is also a structural component of myoglobin – a protein that provides oxygen to muscle tissue. In addition, iron also helps strengthen the immune system, protecting the body from harmful agents from the environment such as dust, pollution, bacteria, and viruses.
For pregnant women, iron is an element that helps maintain a safe and healthy pregnancy. Adequate iron supplementation helps pregnant women and fetuses prevent dangerous complications of pregnancy such as miscarriage, premature delivery, hemorrhage and postpartum infection. Therefore, adequate iron intake, the right amount is essential for all pregnant women to do.
Iron Requirement At Different Stages Of Pregnancy?
Pregnant women need iron supplements during the entire pregnancy because in each stage, iron has different important roles.
The first 3 months are the golden period in the formation and development of the fetus, any defect in this process will seriously affect the health of the fetus later. During this period, the fetus needs iron to make blood, at this time the mother needs to supplement 30-60mg of elemental iron per day to meet this need.
The fetus continues to thrive and perfect its organs in the second trimester. At this time, the fetus needs more blood to meet that growing need. At this stage, pregnant women need to continue to maintain 30 to 60mg of iron daily.
The last 3 months are an important period for both mother and fetus. During this period, the fetus will rapidly increase in weight and size. The mother’s body also undergoes many changes to prepare for labor. Whether giving birth by cesarean or vaginal birth, the mother’s body also loses a lot of blood, on average from 1.5-2 liters. Therefore, it is extremely important to store blood during these last 3 months. The mother should supplement about 50-60mg of elemental iron per day and maintain until postpartum for good health recovery.
Consequences Of Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy
Most cases of anemia are caused by low levels of iron in the body. Anemia during pregnancy not only affects the mother’s health, but can also have irreversible consequences for the child’s physical and mental health.
Pregnant women with anemia will often experience fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. When anemia is severe, fainting can lead to falls. Anemia also increases the risk of serious obstetric complications such as miscarriage, premature birth, postpartum infection or postpartum hemorrhage.
The fetus of an anemic mother often has a lower weight and height than normal, leading to the risk of fetal malnutrition. This will directly affect the stature and intelligence of the child at birth and lasts until adolescence. In addition, babies born to mothers with anemia are also at higher risk of anemia and cardiovascular diseases than other children.
Thus, supplementing enough iron for pregnant women helps ensure safety for the mother’s health and complete development in the fetus.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms During Pregnancy
- Pregnant women with iron deficiency may experience some symptoms such as:
- Frequent fatigue, poor concentration.
- Dizziness, dizziness, especially when changing position suddenly, can lead to fainting.
- Blue, pale skin.
- The mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and palms are less ruddy.
- Poor cold tolerance.
- Vulnerable to infection.
- Shortness of breath on exertion, climbing stairs, or prolonged vigorous activity.
In these cases, a complete blood count test will show a low hemoglobin concentration (below 110g/L) and a decrease in serum iron stores (ferritin less than 30 mcg/L).
Does Taking Iron Have Any Side Effects?
Iron is relatively difficult to take because it can cause pregnant women to experience some unpleasant symptoms. Many pregnant women are afraid to take iron and even stop taking it during pregnancy. Here are the side effects of iron:
- Hot in, pimples, constipation.
- Green or black tarry stools.
- Loss of appetite, persistent nausea.
- Stomach spasms, gastric mucosal irritation.
- Allergic reactions: itching, rash, hives, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, swelling of lips, eyes, face.
To limit these side effects, pregnant women should adhere to the correct dose of iron to supplement, absolutely do not overdose. It is best for pregnant women to use trivalent iron of organic origin to minimize these unwanted effects.