Iron is vital fuel for the human body. Its main function is to oxygenate the blood and create energy. Without enough iron you may feel constantly tired, lethargic or irritable. It can impact everything from your fitness levels to your zest for life.
Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world but most of us don’t give it a second thought. At different life stages, including pregnancy, you need even more iron than normal.
10 things you didn’t know about iron
- It’s crucial for energising the body and mind but tricky to absorb from food
- If you wake up tired or feel like you’ve lost your mojo, according to the NHS one of the most common reasons for feeling run down is iron deficiency
- 27% of women aren’t getting enough iron!
- Iron plays a starring role in pregnancy and the making of a new human – your body needs extra iron to make new organs, support the placenta and prepare for labour and breastfeeding
- 1 in 7 women develop iron-deficiency anaemia during pregnancy
- Vegans and vegetarians are much more likely to be lacking this essential mineral because they don’t eat meat
- Almost half of British girls are low in iron. Puberty, periods, growth spurts and competitive sports all require high amounts of iron
- Regular workouts mean you lose more iron, largely through sweat – by topping up your iron you can improve energy and performance
- Heavy periods can result in low iron levels, exhaustion, fogginess and mood swings
- Iron is vital for maintaining the nervous system and energy levels
Iron and pregnancy: Did you know?
Most mums-to-be understand the importance of folate or folic acid for a healthy pregnancy. But did you know that iron is equally important, for both mother and baby?
Iron is vital for supporting the process of cell division and ensuring healthy foetal development1. Your own body needs extra iron too to make a huge amount of new blood2, support the placenta, prepare for giving birth and give you that all-important energy!
You’re probably not getting enough
Iron deficiency in pregnancy is really common. By the third trimester a woman’s iron requirement jumps from 18mg per day to 30mg – that’s quite a lot to get through diet alone… and many women do not get enough. Your blood volume increases by 50% when you are pregnant so the need for iron also doubles.
It’s especially hard to meet your target if you’re vegetarian or vegan, carrying twins or have a history of heavy periods. In fact, 1 in 7 pregnant women in the UK develop iron-deficiency anaemia during pregnancy3.
Even slightly low iron levels can make you feel overwhelming tiredness, dizziness, breathlessness or faint. Too little iron during pregnancy has also been linked to low birth weight, premature delivery and an increased risk of bleeding after birth. Your midwife will check your iron levels via routine blood tests at your antenatal appointments. If you’re found to be iron deficient, you may be recommended an iron supplement.
Marie Louise @the_modern_midwife says “There are vast physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, meaning there is significant need and extra requirements for red blood cells and haemoglobin. When haemoglobin levels drop, less oxygen can be carried in the blood and you can become tired, weak, breathless or dizzy.
Part of a healthy pregnancy is ensuring that you are getting enough iron. Not only so that your baby can grow and develop but so that you feel well and energised.
If you start your pregnancy with anaemia or other risk factors for anaemia (such as vegetarian or vegan) you may well need to pay more attention to ensuring your iron intake is sufficient. Diet is not always enough which is why suppliants maybe recommended.”
Blueiron is proudly launching new Blueiron Pregnancy, specially formulated for pregnant women, containing appropriate levels of iron, as well as vitamin C for enhanced iron absorption.
Blueiron Pregnancy has a 50% higher iron concentration than the original Blueiron and doesn’t contain any other vitamins or minerals, meaning it can easily be taken alongside other supplements that mum is already taking.
Just one 5ml teaspoon provides 90% of the required daily intake.
The innovative formula ensures Blueiron Pregnancy is gentle on the stomach. It contains a patented micro-encaspulated form of iron (Fe3) which is easily absorbed.
The body only absorbs what it needs, meaning mum doesn’t experience any nasty side effects such as constipation, mostly commonly associated with prescribed iron supplements from the GP or midwife.