Iron deficiency during pregnancy

If you are pregnant, your need for iron increases to double. Therefore, many women occurs in the course of pregnancy to a lack of iron. How you can recognize an iron deficiency and how you cover your increased need for iron, you can find out in this article.

What the body needs iron?

Iron is an essential trace element that is except for various metabolic functions mainly required for blood formation. The micronutrient can not be manufactured by the body and therefore must be taken with food daily. In the small intestine the iron is released from the diet and transported to the bone marrow via the bloodstream. There, the iron is significantly involved in the formation of red blood cells, known as hemoglobin. The red blood pigment has to carry the important task of the oxygen contained in the blood to the lungs, thus ensuring optimal care of the whole body. During pregnancy, iron is also partly responsible for the growth and brain development of the baby.

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What causes iron deficiency during pregnancy?

The human body is basically to create iron stores in the area. Excess iron that is not used by the body immediately, can be stored in depots, on which the body can be accessed at a later required. But as often iron is not absorbed through the normal diet enough, the iron requirement at about 50 percent of all women is not fully covered, and the memory can not be adequately filled. There is thus even without a pregnancy already in many women a latent iron deficiency.

During pregnancy, the supply shortage described is even more problematic. Because in pregnant women's blood volume increases by about 30 to 40 percent, as the growing uterus must be adequately supplied with blood. Enough new blood formed and optimal oxygenation of mother and child can be guaranteed, the need for iron increases to twice the previous requirement. Iron during pregnancy so one of the most important nutrients. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily iron intake of about 30 milligrams for pregnant women.

Between the 8th and the 22nd week of pregnancy the need for iron is highest. As well as now mostly iron can be obtained from food is not enough and the body thus drawing on the meager supplies, occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy often an acute iron deficiency.

How does an iron deficiency in pregnancy manifest itself?

In a longer-term supply of iron can cause inadequate production of red blood cells. The consequences are often fatigue, exhaustion, physical and mental weakness, nervousness, sleep and appetite. However, the deficiency can be manifested by headache, paleness, brittle and cracked skin and brittle nails. In addition, there is an increased susceptibility to infection in iron deficiency.

If not enough red blood cells are present, it also can cause anemia, called anemia come. In this case, the placenta can often no longer be supplied with sufficient oxygen and then not amortized evolving. This in turn affects the oxygen supply to the baby and can adversely affect brain development. Anemia also increases the risk of miscarriage or premature birth and may result in that the mother loses an unusual amount of blood at birth.

Diagnosis of iron deficiency by the gynecologist

Iron deficiency can therefore manifest itself in many different ways. To exclude a severe iron deficiency during pregnancy is safe, your gynecologist will therefore regularly monitor hemoglobin, or hemoglobin level in your blood. Also, the level of the body's iron stores it can determine on the basis of so-called serum ferritin value. Should he find an acute iron deficiency in this study, it is found together with you a way to resolve this as quickly as possible. This can be done either by a change in diet and by taking certain drugs. When iron levels are particularly low in the blood and reach a critical level, a blood transfusion may be necessary in time. However, this happens rarely.

adjust diet the iron requirement

Through a conscious dietary change you can fill up before pregnancy and meet the increased demand during pregnancy iron stores. We have put together some foods you here, in which the iron content is particularly high and therefore you should increasingly take to you during pregnancy:

  • Lean red meat, shellfish, eggs and fish can replenish your iron stores regularly consuming slowly. Also fried liver contains a lot of iron. This you should, however, only buy organic quality, since there is less harmful substances are included. Because of the increased pollution of liver You should also give up their consumption in the first trimester.
  • Legumes, nuts and whole grains, as Millet or oats, also contain many healthy fiber in addition to a healthy dose of iron. These foods can therefore be more often to your diet.
  • Also fruit has a lot to offer in terms of iron. In dried fruit, especially in apricots, is very much iron. Also red juices, for example Grape or cherry juice, contribute particularly suitable for the supply of iron.
  • A variety of vegetables contains larger portions iron. These mainly include dark green vegetables, such Spinach, broccoli, peas and beans. But also Fennel and beetroot are good sources of iron.

Tip iron deficiency in pregnancy

In nettles is relatively much iron present. You can either eat the fresh leaves as a salad, or nettle seeds, you can get in health food stores to use as a garnish for a cheese sandwich or for the production of tea.

Iron from animal foods is easier to use for the body in general. Because in many herbal products cosmetics contain substances that inhibit the absorption and utilization of iron, such as phytic acid in certain cereals, soy and rice or oxalic acid in spinach and rhubarb.

You can view the recycling of iron from plant foods, however, promoted by the simultaneous intake of vitamin C. Drink, for example, to eat a glass of orange, sea buckthorn or grapefruit juice or beträufle iron-containing foods with a little lemon juice to improve the absorption of iron.

Iron supplements are necessary?

An iron-rich diet alone is not enough in many cases to cover the actual iron requirement of 30 milligrams per day. Because only about ten percent of the recorded by the dietary iron can be effectively utilized by the body. If an acute iron deficiency is present in pregnancy, sometimes swift action is needed beyond. Therefore, you did not always have the opportunity to gradually replenish your iron stores through conscious diet. If necessary, therefore, the nutritional supplements recommended by a special iron supplement. There are, however, some things to consider:

Dosière iron supplements not on your own, but you Discuss in detail with your doctor. He precisely estimate based on your blood test results, how much iron you need to also make your body and avoid a possible overdose.

It often happens when taking iron supplements for stomach pain or constipation. You can mitigate the fact that you do not ingest the iron preparation also an empty stomach, as recommended in many leaflets, but take it during or after a meal to you, these side effects may be.

The recording process of magnesium and iron by the body interfere with each other. So if you use a magnesium supplement, should be a time of two hours between each revenue minimum does not contain the respective effect.

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