Is it safe to take iron supplements during pregnancy?

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Are you a pregnant woman feeling weak and tired? Then you might be suffering from iron deficiency. During pregnancy, if you have haemoglobin deficiency, your gynaecologist might order you to take iron-rich foods or iron supplements. Iron is essential for oxygenation or carrying oxygen to every cell of our body. It also helps the body’s energy source, ATP. A pregnant woman is at most risk of iron insufficiency.


Due to increase in the production of red blood cells,  red cell mass and plasma expand during pregnancy.  Unlike the other non-pregnant women, you need more iron as it is required for the placenta and the fetus.


For anaemic pregnant women, the iron supplements are crucial. If you don’t have haemoglobin deficiency, then taking iron supplements is a prudent measure. In order to identify and treat iron deficiency on time, few blood tests during the nine months are necessary.


The Consequences Of Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy


If you feel exhausted and tired, it may be due to iron deficiency. During pregnancy, if you suffer from anaemia it will lead to pregnancy complications and also result in poor neurodevelopment of the foetus. Breastfeeding and pregnant ladies should take 20-30mg per day. It is the vegetarians who face the issue much as the non-vegetarians get it from their regular diet. Iron supplements are prescribed by medical advisor if you lack it. Iron deficiency is met by many of the pregnant women, and it can lead to unanticipated birth, low birth weight, infant and maternal mortality, and behavioural and cognitive imbalance.


The foods that are rich in sources of iron are kidney beans, dates, beef, almonds, dry apricots, beans, broccoli, lentils, soybeans, tofu, and spinach. Only a balanced and a healthy diet will help you overcome the iron deficiency.


During pregnancy, both the mother and foetus should need an average amount of iron. If you are a vegetarian, it is a must to take supplements as the demand cannot be met with only iron rich foods.


The fetus and placenta require 300mg, and maternal haemoglobin needs 500 mg. So you should need a total of 800 mg. Consume 2 -4.8 mg of iron per day to overcome the iron deficiency.


Iron requirement of a pregnant mother increases as the pregnancy progresses, so it is usual that gynaecologist prescribes you the iron supplements, even if you do not have iron deficiency.


You should intake iron supplements according to the need and do not take beyond the limit. Even though our body can store iron, excess iron can result in nausea, vomiting and constipation.


Folic acid supplements are recommended while trying to conceive and during the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy.



Currently, the iron supplements are advised if pregnancy blood tests tell that the mother is anaemic. They are not routinely given to all pregnant women due to the possible for side effects.


If you feel tired and weak during pregnancy, then get your blood test done and consult your doctor immediately.