How to Manage Low Iron When Planning for Pregnancy
May 20, 2017
Low iron is common among women, especially during pregnancy. Because of the increased need for iron during pregnancy, it is a good idea to start building iron reserves if you are planning for pregnancy. The Prenate® Vitamin Family offers several prenatal vitamins with iron to help fill nutritional gaps that aren’t met through diet alone.
Know Your Iron Status
It’s recommended that women start making healthy choices at least three months prior to conception. If you are thinking about having a baby or actively trying to conceive, you should evaluate your food choices and make sure that you are eating a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meats.
In addition, you can ask your health care provider to administer a simple blood test that will provide detailed information on your iron levels. During pregnancy, the amount of iron recommended for most women increases from 18 mg to 27 mg per day.1 This is because a body during pregnancy requires more iron to support the placenta, a growing baby, and the dramatic increase of blood volume that occurs during pregnancy. For those reasons, you want to start building your iron stores before the need becomes too great.
Know How To Identify Low-Iron Symptoms
Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body has lower-than-normal amounts of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Iron is an important component required for the production of hemoglobin found in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Infants and women are the two groups most at risk for iron deficiency anemia.2 The condition occurs over time but is easy treated.
Iron-deficiency anemia occurs in people who do not consume enough iron or are unable to absorb iron. Instead, their bodies use stored iron. As these reserves are depleted, iron-deficiency anemia can occur. Be on the lookout for these symptoms, as they may indicate low iron:
- Tiredness, weakness or exhaustion3
- Pale skin, lips and nails3
- Shortness of breath3
- Rapid heartbeat3
Supplement With Prenatal Vitamins with Iron
If you already have low iron or are planning for pregnancy, you should consider supplementing with a prenatal vitamin that contains iron. Keep in mind, though, that not all iron supplements are created the same — different iron supplements are absorbed by the body at different rates.
The Prenate® Vitamin Family offers a line of prenatal vitamins with iron. The following products contain Sumalate®, a highly absorbable form of iron:
This type of iron is about three times more bioavailable than common iron forms, so smaller doses are more efficient.4-6 Plus, Sumalate® is shown to have less negative side effects on the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.5,7 Talk to your doctor to see which Prenate® supplement is right for you.