According to the National Taiwan University National Nutrition Survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the nutritional deficiencies, particularly folate, vitamin B1, B2 and iron, etc. were discovered by the blood analysis of 2346 pregnant women. In addition, the deficiency increased along with the process of pregnancy. Especially in the third trimester (≧ 25 weeks), the prevalence of folate deficiency was about 4%, the prevalence of vitamin B1 deficiency was 37%, and the prevalence of vitamin B2 deficiency was 14%; furthermore, the iron deficiency has reached the prevalence of 50%.
The need for vitamin B complex and iron during pregnancy is essential. As your baby grows gradually, the demand cannot be overlooked. The iron requirement during pregnancy is the same as that for general women in the first and second trimester – 15 mg per day. However, in the third trimester and also breastfeeding period, it is recommended to add an additional 30 mg everyday in order to reach the 45 mg daily requirement.
However, clinically, doctors often hear complaints from pregnant patients about the feeling of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, which could be aggravated by the consumption of iron-containing multivitamins. Therefore, in the early stages of pregnancy, we usually recommend pregnant women to take iron-free multivitamins or B-complexes. As for the demand of iron in the meantime, we suggest to supplement by normal diet, such as eating more red meats (cattle, sheep, pork, etc.).
When it comes to the second trimester of a pregnancy, you do need to increase the supplementation of iron. Generally speaking, the common source of iron for pregnancy is Ferrous Fumarate or Ferrous Sulfate, both are popularly used in clinic for iron treatments. However, studies have confirmed that these types of iron can easily cause side effects such as stomach discomfort and even constipation, so the acceptance is not high. In contrary, Ferrous Bisglycinate has been clinically proven to have the lesser side effects, and the lower amount requirement of doses will hardly cause discomfort. Meanwhile, taking low-dose supplement multiple time per day is more effective than a single high-dose. Besides, the absorption rate of Ferrous Bisglycinate is higher than the other forms of iron, so the consumption is relatively smaller.
In short, if a pregnant woman has red meat often and have no symptoms of iron deficiency, they can start to supplement 15 mg of Ferrous Bisglycinate once a day in the second trimester of pregnancy. During third trimester and the breast-feeding period, please take 15 mg of Ferrous Bisglycinate twice a day. If you eat less red meat, or if you are diagnosed with iron deficiency by a medical professional, you should supplement 45 mg of Ferrous Bisglycinate daily. However, it is recommended to take iron supplements in divided doses, which can increase iron absorption and reduce the potential discomforts.