Iron is responsible for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all the other cells in your body. During pregnancy, your body produces up to 50 percent more blood than usual, meaning that iron is in high demand. Low iron in the blood can cause anemia in you during pregnancy, and in your baby after birth. Anemia increases your risk for pre-term delivery and low birth weight, and some studies show it may even increase the risk of postpartum depression.
Recommended daily dose: 30MG-
To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
- Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
- Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
- Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
- Turkey or chicken giblets
- Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
And here’s a tip: If you eat iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron.