Many pregnant women take certain supplements to maintain their body’s levels of various nutrients, with prenatal vitamins a good example here. However, while prenatal vitamins are valuable and necessary for many pregnant women, there are certain nutrient deficiencies they may not entirely cover on their own – and iron deficiency, or maternal iron deficiency anemia, is a good example here.
At Pharmics Inc., we’re happy to offer a wide range of iron supplements for numerous individuals, from babies and children to pregnant women dealing with an iron deficiency. It’s often necessary for pregnant women to take both prenatal vitamins and iron supplements simultaneously – why is this? Here’s a primer on why iron is important during pregnancy, the amounts of iron a pregnant mother needs, and how iron supplements play a role here.
Why Iron Matters During Pregnancy
It’s natural to wonder why iron is so important during pregnancy, even among those with a bit more medical knowledge than the average person. Those in this position often wonder why, despite 70% of the body’s iron being found in red blood cells, pregnant women need more iron despite the fact that they are no longer losing blood on a monthly basis due to their menstrual cycle.
The simple reason: During pregnancy, iron is vital for delivering oxygen and nutrients to your baby as it develops. While your body isn’t losing blood, it’s actually producing more than it would on a normal basis – this is because not only is your baby growing, but so are you as a mother. Iron is important for everything from fetal brain development to the health of the mother during pregnancy for these reasons, and must be carefully attended to.
Iron Required During Pregnancy
How much iron does a pregnant woman typically need compared to normal adult women? It’s a significant jump. The average pregnant woman requires 27 milligrams of iron per day compared to 18 milligrams for adult women ages 19-50 who are not pregnant. In certain bodies that use lots of iron, this amount may be even larger.
Iron Supplements Alongside Prenatal Vitamins
In some cases, prenatal vitamins will cover a woman’s iron needs during pregnancy. However, in many others, they will not be sufficient and iron supplements will be needed.
First and foremost, it’s completely safe to take iron supplements alongside prenatal vitamins, though it’s always good to consult with your doctor first just to be sure. Additionally, some women may not require iron supplements early in pregnancy, but may develop this need as it goes on – from week 20 and on, in particular, iron deficiency symptoms tend to show up in some cases. A combination of blood tests and noted iron anemia symptoms may lead to a need for iron supplements.
For more on why taking iron supplements alongside prenatal vitamins is often required for pregnant women, or to learn about any of our iron supplements, vitamin D supplements or other products, speak to the staff at Pharmics Inc. today.