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home>>family>>diet during pregnancy>>Iron During Pregnancy

Why Women Need Iron And Other Minerals During Pregnancy?

by: Claude Fullinfaw

Our bodies are invisible miracles and yet we need to foster it with care and love. If we neglect our body it just will not be able to give us what we want when we want it to do so. Especially when we fall pregnant and hope and pray for the healthiest child to be born into our family. If you have treated and nourished your body properly at the optimum levels then you are giving your future child a very good chance to have a good start in life with a full round of health when its born. All mothers and fathers would like that to happen and so some small changes to diet may certainly have to be made.

The mother's body is made up of trillions of cells so small that our eyes just cannot see them. Yet it is here that the invisible miracle of life starts its journey. For the cells to perform and replace the old cells and make new ones and also to undo the damage caused by older cells daily we have to nourish these invisible miracles. Taking proper food with the right levels of minerals, vitamins, etc will help the young pregnant mother to help her child to grow into a health baby. It is also important that the mother looks after her health especially during pregnancy as her body is constantly being leached out of nutrients by the baby she is carrying.

Now there are numerous vitamins and minerals needed everyday to perform various tasks required by our cells. They all have a part to play and not one of them should be ignored as they work in synergy with each other so that the final outcome is optimum health.

One such minerals is iron and is very important in our bodies and is found in the blood mainly and is an important part of our blood composition. It is found that if one mineral is low in our body most often the whole spectrum of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, selenium, iron, folic acid, zinc and chromium become low as well in the mother and it will cause anemia, fatigue, migraine headaches, leg and uterine cramps, gestational diabetes, heart palpitation and high blood pressure to set it.

In the months leading up to the pregnancy and during the nine months of pregnancy the mother needs to have adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids ( omega-3 fatty acids ) if she wants to avoid developing the above risks and especially avoid passing them on to her unborn baby. If she is not careful she will experience negative multiple pregnancy symptoms that will lead to the baby suffering from retardation in growth, foetal distress and more distressing is that she may have serious pregnancy complications that may lead to a stillbirth on her hands and loose her precious baby.

During the very early signs of the pregnancy the intake of iron should be kept up as the baby needs iron for its developing blood cells as well as the mother's blood volume increases to almost 50% due to pregnancy weight gain during the nine months of pregnancy. The mother needs huge amounts of iron for this increased blood volume.

What vitamins do you take during pregnancy?

Now comes the question of what vitamins should the young expecting mother take? Just taking a vitamin and a mineral is not the answer as all supplements are not created equal. So how does an expecting woman begin to trust her vitamins to provide the care she wants for her baby? It is quite simple as information is out now on the comparison of vitamins, brands against brands and all the information is independent and freely available. You need to be aware that all vitamin formulations are not the same and most important may not have the appropriate amounts needed. An example for the proper absorption of minerals in our bodies we need the supplements to be chelated. This term means that the mineral is attached to amino acids (protein building blocks). If we were to take minerals in their pure form the intestines will reject them as the cells will not recognise it as food. For minerals to be absorbed from the gut into the blood stream they need to be attached or chelated to amino acids. Always check to see if the minerals are chelated on the label. Most suppliers will tell you if they are.

Look for a vitamin supplement that has magnesium and vitamin D as these two help with the absorption of calcium into the bones especially during pregnancy of the mother and her baby. The muscles in the body need calcium and magnesium to function optimally. Any imbalance will cause the muscle and nerves not to function properly. Irregular contraction and spasms of the muscles are a good example of this type of imbalance. During pregnancy it is very important to take the proper dosage of calcium and magnesium to avoid palpitation of the heart. The reason being the heart is one of the most important muscle in the body and a lack of these two essential minerals will have an adverse effect on its performance. The normal diet just does not give the expecting mother enough of these two minerals. She will have to add at least 300 to 600mg of magnesium per day to her supplementation to avoid palpitation of the heart.

The level of magnesium will not be seen directly from a blood test sample as the mineral is not present in the blood but rather in the cells. A blood test will bring up a deficiency only if magnesium is totally lacking and is life threatening. The interesting thing is that the body keeps the level of its blood magnesium levels stable at all times by taking reserves from the bones and muscles. So if you were to check your blood magnesium levels it most probably will always seem normal. To replace the mineral absorption from our bones and muscles we need to supplement with a high quality supplement.

For a woman who is pregnant or considering to fall pregnant she needs to supplement with magnesium. All she needs to do is make sure she takes at least 300mg to 700mg of magnesium daily. It will be hard to find a prenatal vitamin with at least 50mg of magnesium in its formulation. Taking more than 700mg of magnesium is not dangerous but will cause you to experience osmotic diarrhoea. This is one of the reason that you may see why some laxatives have high levels of magnesium in its formulation. Try to spread your magnesium dosage evenly through out the day to avoid loose stools or upset stomachs.


About The Author
Claude Fullinfaw is a successful publisher of nutritional secrets at where he provides more information on health and nurition for men, women and children and how you can benefits from his work at Pregnancy and Nutrition.

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