Iron

During Pregnancy

Why Is Iron Needed During Pregnancy?

  • It is a vital component of haemoglobin – a protein found in red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Without iron, cells become oxygen starved.
  • Iron is important in increased levels during pregnancy to produce extra red blood cells for the growing fetus and placenta.
  • Iron supports normal brain development in the growing fetus.
  • In the 3rd trimester, the fetus builds iron stores for the first 6 months of life outside the womb

Whose At Risk of Low Iron Levels During Pregnancy?

  • Vegetarians/Vegans
  • Teenagers
  • Women with heavy periods prior to pregnancy
  • Those who follow a low-fat or high-fibre diet

What's the normal recommendations for Iron?

As seen in the table opposite, the Nutrient Reference Values for Australian women is based approximately between 8mg/day-18mg/day; with the variability being related to differences in menstrual losses.

When pregnant - the recommended intake of iron is 27mg/day

As a guide, listed below is an example of how to obtain enough iron when pregnant:
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What Are The Effects Of Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy?

Food Sources:

Red meat Oysters Cashews