Women's Health

Best iron supplement for pregnancy

Best iron supplement for pregnancy

An iron supplement is developed to prevent and treat iron deficiency. Iron supplement can be consumed as pill, capsule, powder and syrup or in the form of injection. Oral administration of iron supplement is quite popular and convenient way for consuming iron.  Iron supplements are developed with different concentrations and defined preparations.

The work of iron supplement in the body to maintain desired level of iron or make normal level in the anemic people. Generally, prescriptions are not needed to consume these supplements but it is better to consult health care provider about its administration requirements, side effects and possible drug interactions.

Iron supplements are basically needed by the pregnant women or a women who has low iron content. These women are more prone to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is a condition, in which healthy red blood cells produces low iron content or no production of iron content. This condition is known as Anemia. Best supplement of iron can support to increase the iron content and make a healthy body [R].

Women, in a pre-menopausal period also needed higher dosage of iron as they release excess blood with iron during this period.  Dialysis patients also needs enough iron supplement to live healthy. Iron supplement are available in the market in many forms such as capsules, syrups, chew-able, and soft gels. Higher doses can be provided by monthly doses of injection.

Iron is a supplement that works differently on different people. Sometimes one type of works better then other type. If a pregnant women has face side effects with one type of iron supplement then it is easy to try another supplement. Most common types of Iron includes Fumarate, Gluconate, Sulphate, and Biglycinate.

The size of iron capsule is also matters. If a women needs high doses of iron, then choose large size capsules and if needed in little quantity then choose small size.

Which form of iron is best absorbed?

The best form of iron supplement is “non-heme” iron. Iron supplement is available in two forms, heme and non-heme iron. In heme iron, iron is conjugate with hemoglobin and in non-heme iron, iron is not conjugate with hemoglobin. The most efficiently absorbed form of iron is heme iron which is much high in the comparison of non-heme iron such as ferrous sulfate and ferrous fumarate.

But, even heme iron is superior from non-heme iron, the most popular iron supplement is non-heme iron as it is easy to take higher doses of non-heme iron supplements than heme iron supplements. The time taken by the 3 mg heme iron and 50 mg non-heme iron to absorb is same. The non-heme iron is ferrous succinate.

Scientific studies of Iron supplements during pregnancy

There are many studies or research conducted that shows requirement of Iron Supplement during Pregnancy. A study conducted on the pregnant women to assess the effects of daily oral iron supplements with folic acid, or other vitamins and minerals revealed that supplementation reduces the problem of maternal anamia and iron deficiency in pregnant women and also provides a positive effect on maternal and infant outcome results. Implementation of iron supplementation in pregnant women lower the risk of low birth weight and anemia in infants [R]. 

Another study was conducted to analyze the prevalence and determinants of the iron supplement use by the desired person and the amount consumed by the person from iron containing supplement. The study concluded that it is important to understand the desired requirement of iron supplement in a pregnant women to avoid problems. Varying doses of iron supplement has some side effects and it is highly recommended to consult a health care provider to know desire quantity of iron supplement. Sometimes in high risk pregnancy varying doses of iron supplement may cause severe problems to the pregnant women and infant. The study also recommended to educate the pregnant women about the types and dose supplement which is best suitable for her [R].

A research was carry out to understand the iron status in the women with mild or no anemia, while providing iron-folic acid (IFA) and multiple micro nutrient(MM) supplements regularly to reduce the risk of maternal anemia, low birth weight, and iron deficiency. Researchers concluded that iron-folic acid (IFA) and multiple micro nutrient(MM) supplements are providing much better iron supplement during pregnancy in comparison to folic acid alone. This study proves that consuming iron supplement is highly important in pregnancy for the better health of women and infant [R].

A study in developing countries such as Uganda reveals that antenatal iron supplement is an economic and best way for reducing iron deficiency in the pregnant women. Developing countries are less aware about the importance of iron supplement and pregnant women in these countries are facing many problems such as low birth weight, anemia, and other problems in infant as well as mother.

It is highly important to spread awareness about use and effectiveness of iron supplement in these countries.  It was observed that women who consume iron supplement are far more healthy, rich in iron level, and have deliver and healthy baby. This study proves that iron supplement is essential for pregnant women [R]. 

A study on infants was conducted to understand the relationship between infant low birth weight with iron deficiency. It was observed that infant with iron deficiency has low birth weight. The study shows that it is important to provide pregnant women iron supplement regularly to avoid birth problems such as low birth weight in infants [R]. Iron and folic acid supplement is highly recommended to prevent pregnant women from anemia and to improve maternal and infant birth outcomes [R].

Is iron tablets necessary in pregnancy?

Consuming iron supplements in pregnancy has many benefits such as

  • It improves iron level of the body and stop nasty effect of anemia.
  • Avoids feeling of dizziness or breathless
  • Body gets more energy to work
  • Iron supplement can prevent body from infection.
  • Iron supplement can help during delivery blood loss and provide body energy
  • iron supplement provides more oxygen to the baby and improves baby health
  • iron supplement also improve milk production in females after delivery

In conclusion, studies on the requirement of iron supplement in pregnant women reveals that it is essential for a pregnant women to consume desired doses of iron regularly to deliver a healthy baby and also to recover from post pregnancy problems effectively.

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