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Iron Deficiency during pregnancy (Anemia)

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If you are feeling fatigued more than usual, lightheaded, or have a fainting spell, you may be suffering from iron deficiency (Anemia).

Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to blood cells. A shortage can make you weak and faint. This condition can be discovered by a simple blood test (recommended to do in the first month).
A balanced diet can go a long way in minimizing iron deficiency.  Foods that are rich on iron include:

beef
lamb
dark chicken meat
breakfast cereals
whole grain bread
red lentils
chickpeas
baked beans
kidney beans
broccoli
peas
spring greens
spring onions
spinach
nuts: cashew, sunflower seeds, etc

Additional sources include dried fruits like apricots, prunes and figs, baked potatoes and eggs.  Liver is an excellent source of iron, but should be avoided during preganancy.  The high Vitamin A content in liver is believed to be harmful for the baby. 

To aid in the absorbtion of iron, it is recommended to eat foods rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits.

Caffeine is known to block the absorption of iron.  It is recommended that coffee, tea, and bran be consumed in moderation.  Pay attention to what you are eating to provide the best possible nutrition for you and your baby.

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