Gentle Iron in Your Prenatal Vitamin
February 28, 2020
During pregnancy, iron deficiency is a common condition. Taking iron supplements would seem to be an easy decision, but many people struggle with their side effects, including stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues. That’s why expecting mothers may find it helpful to take a gentle, more tolerable form of iron in their prenatal supplements.
The Role of Iron in Pregnancy
Iron plays a very important role during pregnancy. As the fetus and placenta grow, the mother’s body must produce extra red blood cells to support their development. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, the main function of which is to deliver oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. Iron is also needed to produce iron enzymes, which aid in the utilization of oxygen to produce cellular energy.1
Pregnant women and rapidly growing fetuses are vulnerable to iron deficiency1, which is why expecting moms should always talk to a physician about taking iron supplements.
Eating a varied diet with iron-rich foods can help you avoid iron deficiency, also known as anemia. Foods that are good sources of iron include beef, pork, lentils, beans, cereals and even some seafoods, such as tuna and oysters.7 However, eating more iron-rich foods may not be enough to boost iron levels in some people. For those who are more at risk for developing anemia, iron supplements may be prescribed.
Iron supplements can come in several different forms, including capsules, tablets, chewables and liquid. In most cases, iron supplements are absorbed best if taken on an empty stomach. Unfortunately, iron supplements can cause stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Taking an iron supplement with a small amount of food may help head off these unpleasant stomach issues, but also may reduce the benefits of taking a supplement.2
There are also certain foods and beverages that should be avoided when taking iron supplements. These include high-fiber foods such as whole grains, raw vegetables and bran, as well as foods or drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or soda.2 Anyone who is considering taking an iron supplement should consult with a physician or dietician first.
Sumalate – A Gentle Iron Supplement for Expecting Moms
Iron supplements can vary greatly in content, absorption, and tolerability (side effects). Some people may find traditional iron supplements work for them, but those who have sensitive stomachs, a greater need for iron or are at higher risk of iron deficiency may need to consult with a physician to find something that meets their needs but doesn’t make them feel ill.
Expecting moms may be able to get the iron they need from a prenatal vitamin, but they need to be selective in choosing a supplement if they want to avoid stomach-upsetting side effecting.
Sumalate® (ferrous asparto glycinate) is a form of iron used in the Prenate® Vitamin Family line of prenatal prescription vitamins. It is highly absorbable and causes little to no side effects. Its gentle properties are easy on the gastrointestinal systems and help expecting mothers replace their depleted iron stores.3-5
Speak with Your Doctor
Your physician will likely monitor your iron levels as part of your routine prenatal exams. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor, especially if you start to experience any of the following symptoms:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
These symptoms may be signs of iron deficiency.6
Prenate® Family of Prenatal Vitamins
The Prenate® Family Line of Prenatal Vitamins offers a wide selection of nutritional supplements designed for the changing needs of expecting mothers. Contact your health care provider to discuss the potential benefits of adding a daily prescription prenatal vitamin to your routine.