Digital Media

10 April 2023

For maximum absorption, the right way to take iron tablets during pregnancy is….

It is no secret that women need to take extra care of their health during pregnancy. In keeping with the same, doctors might recommend certain supplements to make sure they do not develop any deficiencies, which can be harmful to their as well as the baby’s health. As such, one of the supplements pregnant women and people who have anemia are given is iron. But did you know that there is also a right way to take them to make sure they are properly absorbed by the body? Worry not, Dr Ramya Kabilan has got you covered.

Taking to Instagram, the obstetrician-Gynecologist shared three super helpful tips to take iron tablets to get maximum benefits.

They are:

1. Try taking iron tablets two hours after meals and not immediately after. For example, by 10 or 10.30 a.m. between breakfast and lunch.

2. Do not take iron tablets with calcium tablets or antacids, or consume milk or caffeine beverages (such as coffee, tea, or cola) at the same time or within 2 hours after taking iron.

3. To increase absorption, take your iron supplement with vitamin C (for example, a glass of orange or lemon juice).

Importance of iron during pregnancy

Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Speaking with indianexpress.com, Dr M Rajini, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills – Hyderabad said, “During pregnancy, the need for iron increases due to the growing fetus’s demand for oxygen and the increased blood volume in the mother’s body. Iron deficiency during pregnancy can lead to complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and maternal anemia”.

To ensure that pregnant women get enough iron, doctors may recommend iron supplements, especially if their diet does not provide enough iron. “Iron supplements can help prevent iron deficiency anemia and improve pregnancy outcomes. It is crucial to take iron supplements as prescribed by a healthcare provider to avoid taking too much or too little”.

Tips to take iron supplements and the logic behind it

Some tips for taking iron supplements during pregnancy, shared by Dr Ranjhi are:

• Take iron supplements on an empty stomach or with a small amount of food to increase absorption.
• Do not take iron supplements with calcium-rich foods, as calcium can interfere with iron absorption.
• Avoid taking iron supplements with tea or coffee, as the tannins in these drinks can also inhibit iron absorption.
• Take iron supplements at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of iron in the body.
• Drink plenty of water to avoid constipation, which can be a side effect of iron supplements.
• If iron supplements cause gastrointestinal discomfort or other side effects, discuss them with a healthcare provider to determine if a different supplement or dosage is needed.

It is important to keep in mind that taking too much iron can be harmful, leading to iron overload and toxicity. Therefore, it is essential to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations for iron supplementation and not to take additional iron supplements without medical advice.

Reference Link