Iron Needs during Pregnancy

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Iron needs are greater during pregnancy because of the increased blood volume. Sources of iron include red meat, eggs, green vegetables, dried fruits and bread. Increasing intake of iron during this period is vital and is aimed to avoid anemia and fatigue.

The higher iron needs are observed especially in the last six months of pregnancy, requiring minimum intake of 30 – 50 mg of iron per day. In fact, iron needs during pregnancy are so high that most women are forced to take iron supplements. Iron deficiency anemia, caused by iron deficiency increases the risk of premature birth. The risk of anemia is higher in adolescents, women with multiple pregnancy, vegetarian, and in women from disadvantaged backgrounds. High intake of vitamin C helps improve iron absorption.
In the second half of pregnancy, iron requirements are high, and pregnant women should take iron supplements regardless of the type of diet they follow.

Foods rich in iron:
– Liver, kidneys
– Iron-fortified cereals and bread
– Dried fruit, apricots, green vegetables
– Nuts and seeds

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