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Nutrition & Exercise

Q&A: Iron Supplements For Pregnant Women?

What kind of iron supplements are available for pregnant women?

Iron can be supplemented in several ways. Ferrous sulfate (325 mg twice a day) is one of the more common regimens for the treatment of iron-deficiency anemia. If this regimen does not improve the iron deficiency anemia, taking Vitamin C with the iron supplement can improve absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. There are some prescription supplements that have both iron and Vitamin C in one pill (e.g., Chromagen).

But, keep in mind that iron is known to be associated with constipation, so a stool softener may be necessary. Also, iron may exacerbate the nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy.

Only take iron supplements under your doctor's supervision. Another point to remember is that there are some kinds of anemia that are not treated with iron supplementation. In these cases, taking iron may do more harm than good.

By Dr. Ashley Roman