What is iron

What is iron?

Iron is a mineral. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein that helps carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. You need twice as much iron during pregnancy than you did before pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, your body needs this iron to make more blood so it can carry oxygen to your baby. Your baby needs iron to make his own blood.

During pregnancy, you need 27 milligrams of iron each day. Most prenatal vitamins have this amount. You also can get iron from food. Good sources of iron include:

1.Lean meat, poultry, and seafood
2. Cereal, bread, and pasta that has iron added to it (check the package label)
3. Leafy green vegetables
4. Beans, nuts, raisins, and dried fruit
There are two kinds of iron. You get heme iron from meat, poultry, and fish. You get non-heme iron from plant-based foods, like beans, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, or foods made from plants, like cereal. Your body absorbs more non-heme iron when you eat fruits and veggies together with meat, poultry, and fish or with food that is high in vitamin C.

Foods with a lot of vitamin C include grapefruit, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, and broccoli.

If you don’t get enough iron during pregnancy, you may be more likely to:

  • Get infections.
  • Have anemia. This means you have too little iron in your blood.
  • Be fatigued. This means you feel really tired or exhausted.
  • Have a premature baby. This means your baby is born too soon, before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Have a low-birthweight baby. This means your baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.


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