Pregnancy

      Pregnancy nutrition

      Go green

      The importance of iron in pregnancy

      Spinach is a natural source of iron, which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. Iron supports your baby’s rapidly developing brain, as well as their growing muscles. It also helps to maintain your own health and wellbeing.

      Iron during pregnancy

      Right now, your body will be using more iron than usual. As well as supporting your baby’s cognitive development, iron is used to make haemoglobin – the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body and to your baby.

      Why it’s important to get enough

      Keeping your iron levels topped up can also prevent iron deficiency anaemia. It’s a condition in which your blood doesn’t contain enough red blood cells, which can leave you feeling tired, breathless and even affect your immune system.

      What next?

      Surprisingly, as long as you had good iron levels before conceiving, your recommended intake is the same as if you weren’t pregnant – without the loss of blood through monthly periods, you retain more of your body’s iron stores.

      Keep your iron levels topped up with lots of iron-rich foods in your diet. Choose things like red meat, wholegrains and dark, leafy vegetables such as spinach. You’ll also want to make sure you get enough vitamin C, as it helps the body to absorb non-haem iron.

      1, 5. British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition and Development, short and long-term consequences for health. Wiley Blackwell: London, 2013

      2. Kidspot, Early life nutrition [Online] http://www.kidspot.com.au/iron-pregnancy-need-know/ [Accessed June 2014]

      3. NHS UK, Vitamins and minerals - Iron [Online]. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iron.aspx[Accessed June 2014]

      4. Patient, Anaemia in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: http://patient.info/doctor/anaemia-in-pregnancy [Accessed June 2014]

      Last reviewed: 12th August 2014

      Your baby's future health begins here

      Your baby's future health begins here

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      Questions about feeding and nutrition?

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