You might have heard that you need to increase your iron intake while you are trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests getting close to 20mg of Iron per day (1). So why do you need more iron during pregnancy and how can you get it? We're here to give you the answers.
Why you need more iron?
Iron helps you create red blood cells and send oxygen throughout your body. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases a great deal. Therefore, you need more iron to support you and your growing baby - who is also creating its own red blood cells.
Pregnant women who don't get enough iron can be considered anemic. This can be dangerous for you and your baby. Not getting enough iron can lead to things such as preterm delivery, low weight for the baby upon delivery or loss of the baby. So, make sure to get enough iron in your diet.
It's important to understand that there are two types of iron in our food: heme iron and nonheme iron. Heme iron is found in animal food sources while nonheme iron is found in plant based foods or foods fortified with iron. The difference between the two is that your body has an easier time absorbing heme iron than nonheme iron.
Some great ways to get heme iron are:
- Chicken and Beef
- Fish (such as salmon, tuna, and halibut)
- Clams and Oysters
Some great ways to get nonheme iron are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- High-iron breakfast cereals
- Fortified grains (such as certain breads and pastas)
- Nuts and Seeds
It's important to start taking a prenatal vitamin 3 months before you start trying to get pregnant. It has many benefits for you and your baby's health. Plus, taking your prenatal will help you get your daily dose of iron. Interested in getting an expert curated prenatal vitamin and more? Here at BINTO our fertility and pregnancy kits are great way to do that. Get your prenatal vitamin, plus probiotics, supplements, feminine care products, and more!