Iron is essential during pregnancy and lactation. During pregnancy, your body’s iron needs increase greatly, especially starting in the second trimester. In India, over 50% of all pregnant women have anemia, the majority of which is due to lack of iron. (WHO/NHD/01.3).
Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the body. It is typically characterized by low Hb (Hemoglobin) levels in your blood.
Iron gives stamina to the mother, and is essential in proper brain development and blood cell formation for the baby. Also, it helps in treating and preventing iron deficiency anemia! Hence, incorporating iron-rich foods in your diet is extremely important to increase your hemoglobin levels for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
There are various ways in which you can increase your hemoglobin levels through food:
1. Fortified cereals - cereals which are fortified with iron are ideal for pregnancy and lactation for all you increased pregnancy needs!
2. Green leafy vegetables - Vegetables like spinach, methi, kale are all super rich in iron and very healthy for you.
3. Dried seeds & nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts & raisins are very rich in iron as well.
4. Pulses & beans like legumes, red kidney beans, lentils, soybeans are all iron rich.
5. Fruits like figs, dates, pomegranates, apples all help in increasing your iron levels
6. Non-vegetarian sources of iron include chicken, eggs, meat, canned tuna, mackerel are very rich in iron.
7. Iron supplements - Nutritional supplements are very essential during pregnancy. Iron supplements like iron pills, iron injections (for severely anemic patients) and MamaBix!
8. Iron injections - For severely anemic patients, doctors may prescribe iron injections to increase their Hb levels.
More than 70% of pregnant women prefer eating MamaBix over iron pills.