Is it mandatory to eat additional iron during the pregnancy?
The hemoglobin level is usually measured at least three times at the clinic during pregnancy. Hemoglobin carries the oxygen in our system and if the hemoglobin level is very low, the mother feels herself exhausted and lacking strength. Headache can sometimes be the cause of low hemoglobin. If the HB-level is low during the early pregnancy, it is recommended that iron intake be started around the week 13. The iron supplement should be taken on an empty stomach. At least dairy, cocoa, chocolate, tea and bran hinder the iron absorption. These should not be eaten an hour before or after taking an iron supplement. Water or fresh juices are good to take iron with. The mothers who may feel nausea after taking iron have told that a banana helps the feeling. Some have made a habit of taking the iron supplements during the nightly bathroom breaks. There are some differences in the iron supplements. Others absorb immediately in the stomach and may cause nausea, diarrhea or constipation with those that have a sensitive stomach. The supplements that release the iron into the digestive track in the small intestine may cause fewer problems. Hemoglobin level is usually the lowest during the middle of the pregnancy, around week 26. Before the childbirth, HB usually rises back to the same levels as during the early pregnancy. Obviously there is some blood loss during the childbirth and the subsequent bleeding, so it is good that the HB level is relatively high.