Foods to increase the blood of pregnant women to fulfill iron

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 Did you know that iron is needed by the body during pregnancy. There are many risks that can occur if a mother who is pregnant is iron deficient.

Iron is the main component in the formation of red blood cells or commonly called hemoglobin, in addition to vitamin B6. Well, these red blood cells play an important role in carrying oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body.

According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2021, many Indonesian women are iron deficient, Mother. Iron deficiency occurs in almost 50 percent of pregnant women.

According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2021, many Indonesian women are iron deficient, Mother. This iron deficiency occurs in almost 50 percent of pregnant women and is spread in rural to urban areas.

Lack of iron can cause the number of red blood cells to decrease or is called anemia.

Causes of iron deficiency in pregnant women

Research has found that iron deficiency in pregnant women is mostly caused by several things, namely:

1. Dietary problems

The most common cause of lack of blood is due to the unbalanced composition of the daily diet, in meeting the iron needs of the body. While the Body Mass Index (BMI) is normal or excessive, it also cannot be a standard for adequacy of iron intake.

2. Problems that cause impaired absorption of iron

Problems that reduce iron absorption are still often found in pregnant women. Usually this occurs due to the consumption of certain foods that inhibit the absorption of iron.

Why iron is important for pregnant women

Iron is needed for mothers during pregnancy. Here are 2 important reasons why iron is needed during pregnancy:

1. Blood thinning occurs during pregnancy

During pregnancy there is a process of massive blood thinning, because more fluid is produced than red blood cells. To prevent complications during childbirth, the production of red blood cells must be pursued, Mother.

For example, in 1 cubic centimeter (cc) of blood there are about 100 red blood cells. If there is blood thinning, it means that 1 cc can only contain about 20 to 30 red blood cells. If the production of red blood cells is not increased, then the results of laboratory tests will read it as a deficiency of red blood cells or anemia.

2. Causes direct and indirect effects on pregnancy

Lack of red blood cells due to iron deficiency can have direct and indirect effects on pregnancy, fetus, and children when they grow up.

The direct effect of lack of blood on pregnant women

The immediate effects of a lack of red blood cells can cause:

  • Doubles the risk of preterm labor
  • Increase the risk of low birth weight or small and inappropriate for gestational age by three times
  • Associated with impaired growth and development of brain nerve cells in the fetus
  • Increased risk of cesarean delivery
  • Increase the risk of getting a blood transfusion during delivery, the risk of being exposed to hepatitis to HIV
  • Poor wound healing
  • Heart failure
  • Death to mother

Indirect effects of lack of blood on pregnant women

The indirect effect of blood deficiency in pregnant women due to iron deficiency, with or without anemia, will be experienced by the fetus and baby after birth. Here are the indirect effects:

  • Disorders of brain development caused by disorders of iron metabolism. In an important period in a child’s first life, there is a phase in which his brain development requires iron. If during that period there is a disturbance, it can affect the work of nerve transmission and the nerve sheath that functions to deliver excitability between nerves to nerves.
  • Research has found the impact of iron deficiency on the mother, can cause impaired fetal brain programming that persists until she is born and grows up. This is difficult to overcome because the disorder is persistent and lasts a long time.
  • If iron deficiency occurs from pregnancy until the baby is 3 months old, then the baby is at risk for cognitive and behavioral abnormalities until the age of 19 years. This will later relate to the intelligence of the child.

Iron supplementation for pregnant women

Iron supplementation is needed by pregnant women who lack red blood cells or have anemia. Iron supplementation is also given to pregnant women to prevent iron deficiency.

In pregnant women without anemia and adequate iron levels, she needs iron at least 1050 mg / day. If you have iron deficiency, then the supplementation should be adjusted according to body weight and gestational age.

Iron supplementation is usually pursued in the third trimester. Because, in this trimester iron and red blood cell levels will be a reserve for the fetus until he is born and is three months old.

In addition, supplementation is also given so that iron levels do not drop due to the natural process of thinning blood during pregnancy.

Iron levels in the blood can be determined through blood tests in the laboratory. The examination can be done in the first, third trimester, before delivery, Mother.

Giving iron supplementation can be avoided if pregnant women are getting enough iron from food. However, if it is not sufficient even though oral supplementation has been given, pregnant women are forced to have an iron infusion.

The difference between giving iron supplementation from infusion and oral

Iron supplementation can be given orally or through an IV. Oral supplementation is usually carried out in conditions where maternal iron levels are not significantly reduced.

Giving through an IV is done when the doctor feels that the pregnant woman is in a condition where she needs to get iron quickly. The effect of iron infusion can be seen after 1 week of administration. While the blood-added tablets can see the effect in 3 months.

Levels of hemoglobin (Hb) and iron in the body of pregnant women

Pregnant women are said to have anemia in the first trimester if the red blood cell (hemoglobin) level is less than 11 g/dL. Meanwhile, in the second trimester the limit is 10.5 g/dL.

To determine whether pregnant women are iron deficient or not, they must go through a series of examinations. So, it’s not only seen from the hemoglobin (Hb) value, Mother. Because, a low Hb value does not mean that the iron levels in the body of pregnant women are also lacking.

Characteristics of pregnant women iron deficiency

Mothers can determine iron levels in the body through blood tests in the laboratory. If from the beginning pregnant women are iron deficient, usually she has adapted so that the signs are not too visible.

However, in general, the characteristics of pregnant women are iron deficiency and anemia are easily recognized. Here are the characteristics:

  • Often limp
  • Looks pale
  • Often sleepy
  • Excessive fatigue

Foods that increase blood iron

Sources of iron are actually all around us, Mother. We can get iron in the food we eat every day, both from vegan and non-vegan foods.

The following are sources of blood-boosting foods that are high in iron:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Chicken’s liver
  • Beef Heart
  • Shell
  • Grains
  • Soya
  • Egg
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Seaweed
  • Kale
  • beetroot

Mothers should not just be fixated on consuming foods that contain iron. There are also foods that can increase the absorption (absorption) of iron, namely foods rich in vitamin C such as tomatoes.

Foods that pregnant women need to avoid to avoid iron deficiency

Not all types of food can be consumed during pregnancy. There are also foods that need to be avoided because they can inhibit the absorption of iron, namely tannins.

Tannins are mostly found in tea. If you want to drink tea, it should not be accompanied by the consumption of foods high in iron. Better yet, you can reduce your tea consumption during pregnancy.

The process of childbirth in iron-deficient mothers

The delivery process will be determined not only from the level of red blood cells or the condition of anemia, but whether there are other complications, either from the mother or the fetus. For example, the mother has hypertension, reduced amniotic fluid, there are signs of hypoxia or fetal distress.

If there is no high risk to the mother and fetus, but the level of anemia is very low, then immediate action should be taken to prevent bleeding.

When pregnant women are anemic, the oxygen needed for uterine contractions will decrease. As a result, contractions do not occur optimally to clamp the blood vessels around the uterus.

If that happens, then you can experience bleeding. Blood that comes out can reach 50 to 100 cc per 10 minutes.

Mothers who are deficient in iron do not necessarily have to give birth by caesarean section. This is because this condition is not an absolute contraindication for normal delivery.

Tips to prevent anemia during pregnancy

Iron deficiency or anemia can be prevented before pregnancy. Here are tips to prevent anemia during pregnancy:

  1. Improving the diet for the health of pregnant women, for example the consumption of foods high in folic acid, iron, protein, and vitamins.
  2. Blood tests to see the number of red blood cells and iron levels in the body. Blood tests can be done by husband and wife.
  3. Taking iron supplements depends on the level of iron that is lacking in the body. The dose of iron supplementation is 100-300 mg. The need for iron under normal conditions is 1050 mg per day.

Hopefully this information about the importance of iron during pregnancy is useful, Mother.

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