Iron is a very important mineral. Why are iron pills required during pregnancy? Here is the answer.This mineral is required for synthesis of the proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin. The hemoglobin in the red blood cells (RBC) binds with oxygen and transports it to the cells in the body. Myoglobin helps do the same to the muscles. Iron is therefore important. The importance of iron increases during pregnancy. In pregnancy the blood volume in the body increases. This volume increases by more than even 50% of the total blood volume. The amount of oxygen now required to be carried also increases.
The iron intake therefore needs to be increased during pregnancy. Iron is also required for a safe and normal pregnancy. Iron intake in adequate quantities helps prevent preterm deliveries, it also helps prevent miscarriages and low birth weight in newborns. Ladies who take adequate iron during their pregnancy benefit their children even during their initial years. Such children have known to show greater cognitive skills and are less prone to iron deficiency in their initial years. Iron deficiency is called anemia. Iron can be taken in the form of pills as well. These pills are supplements. These supplements should only be taken after seeking medical advice. The iron requirement increases in the second and third trimester. Iron can also be taken through food products also. Some food products that are rich in iron are spinach, meat, fish, poultry, jaggery, dates, grains, cereals etc.
There are some food products like spinach and soy products that have oxalates in them and other food products like dairy products have calcium in them. Oxalates and calcium reduce the absorption of iron in the body. Therefore, it is important that if these are being taken, some enhancers must be taken to improve the iron absorption. Some of these enhancers are food products that are rich in Vitamin C, meat, poultry and even fish. It is also important that tea and coffee should not be consumed with food. Cooking food in a cast iron wok also is a good idea since the food products cooked thus tend to absorb iron from the vessel. Taking milk closer to consuming an iron rich food product has a chelating effect. This chelating effect reduces iron absorption. Iron is also responsible for enhancing immunity and helps ward off the not so serious infections in the body. Iron pills during pregnancy are thus important.