Pregnant women require extra iron both for the health of the mother and for the health and development of the growing baby and placenta. The amount of blood increases during pregnancy and as a result more iron is needed to make more hemoglobin. The iron helps move oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body and the baby. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can be associated with developmental problems, preterm delivery and low birth weight
According to Health Canada’s Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron during pregnancy is 27 mg per day. This is the average amount of iron most healthy pregnant women need to meet their iron needs. This will allow iron stores to begin growing to take them through their third trimester. Unfortunately, most pregnant women have trouble getting the iron they need through their diet alone. So together with the iron provided through a healthy diet, it is also recommended that pregnant women take a daily multivitamin that has 16 to 20 mg of iron to help with having a healthy pregnancy and obtaining the iron levels required.
Following a healthy diet and eating iron-rich foods helps maintain adequate requirements for iron, vitamin C and other nutrients that will help with iron absorption during pregnancy. Speak to your physician about what prenatal nutrition and supplements are right for you during your pregnancy. If there is the additional concern of the typical gastrointestinal side effects of more common iron preparations, consider a polysaccharide iron like Polyride Fe which is proven effective without the side effects. To assist with iron absorption, also consider Polyride Fe Ultra with added vitamin C to which acts as a strong enhancer of iron absorption.
Excessive loss of iron from the body: Minimal to excessive loss of iron can occur in menstruating women. The average modern day diet may not be sufficient for meeting the needs of iron in young women. In a student down by the US army, 50% of female recruits were iron deficient (AM J. Clin Nutr 2009:90:124-31). In a controlled clinical trial, women receiving a small daily supplement of oral iron markedly improved performance on combat training compared to those given placebo.