Iron deficiency in pregnancy
Discovering that you are pregnant is a rollercoaster of excitement and worry. All of a sudden your mind races through the last few weeks – I had a glass of wine, will that damage the baby? What you put into your body suddenly has greater significance – and for good reason.
While you cut out the potentially harmful things from your diet, you must not forget to add in the things you need more of. You can’t quite start eating for two, but you may need to increase your intake of certain nutrients, like iron, to keep you and your baby healthy.
Why do I need more iron now?
Iron is needed for your body to work properly every day. Now it is important, not just for you, but also for a healthy pregnancy and developing baby.
To support the growth of a baby your body goes through lots of changes. Alongside the nausea and stretch marks you may also start to get that pregnancy glow and wonderfully thick hair – all side effects of the amazing changes going on inside.
Iron is not only important for the changes going on in your body, but also for the growth of your baby. In the last trimester your baby stores 80% of the iron it needs to continue to grow for the first 6 months of its life.
How will I know if I’m low in iron?
Having iron deficiency can affect your pregnancy and the growth of your baby. Your iron levels will likely be checked by your doctor as part of your normal pregnancy screening tests.
Signs that you may have low iron levels and/or iron deficiency, include feeling listless or washed out, looking pale, or feeling breathless. Cravings are often joked about during pregnancy – dashing out for ice-cream in the middle of the night or a never-ending desire for pickles. But having iron deficiency can also cause you to crave strange things, including ice, or even dirt. If you feel your cravings are becoming unusual, or you think you have any of the other signs of iron deficiency such as faintness or feeling fatigued, you should talk to your doctor who will be able to find out the most likely cause of your symptoms.
I may be low in iron, what should I do?
Iron deficiency may have an impact on your pregnancy, so it is important that you know the signs of iron deficiency and how to increase the amount of iron you are getting from your diet.
If you are worried that you may have iron deficiency, don’t be afraid to schedule an extra visit to see your doctor. They will be able to check your iron levels and give you advice.
Remember that the amount of iron you need changes with each trimester so make sure your physician keeps an eye on it throughout your pregnancy.
The difference between fatigue and everyday tiredness
You may think that fatigue is just part of what comes with being pregnant and having a baby, and it is true that you may feel extremely tired at times. But fatigue is different. It is a constant feeling of both physical and mental exhaustion and is associated with iron deficiency.
Maltofer and pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman’s body needs more iron – as much as 10 times more iron than before pregnancy. This kind of increase in iron cannot always be met by diet alone, and is why iron supplements may be required.
Maltofer has been recommended to correct iron levels in pregnant women for over 50 years, all around the world. Clinical studies have shown Maltofer corrects iron deficiency in pregnant women with significantly fewer gastrointestinal side effects than ferrous sulfate. In a study of 80 pregnant women, comparing Maltofer with iron supplements containing ferrous sulfate, the women were almost 10 times less likely to suffer from constipation with Maltofer.