How to Use Food & Herbs to Keep Iron Levels Sufficient During Pregnancy

How to Use Herbs and Food to Keep Iron Levels Sufficient during pregnancy

Sufficient Iron levels during pregnancy are so important…

A pregnant woman’s body has an increased need for iron during pregnancy.   Iron is a major component to hemoglobin which is your blood protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body via the blood and to the placenta.  Since iron is a metal, it is imperative that there is balance of it in the body.  Too much iron can be toxic, while too little iron can cause fatigue or anemia.

Not only can insufficient iron during pregnancy cause fatigue during pregnancy, but it can be cause for hemorrhage during birth as well.  Plenty of healthy platelets are needed in order to encourage strong blood and provide clotting in order to keep hemorrhage at bay after a labor and birth.

Low iron levels can also be extremely harmful for your little one.  Your red blood cells are what carry oxygen from your lungs to your own body’s tissues and your little bean’s body’s tissues in order to help them to develop and grow.  If you are missing sufficient iron levels and other helpful nutrients for oxygen transport this can be harmful for your little one.

Other nutrients that are helpful in allowing iron to be properly absorbed in the body are B vitamins such as folic acid and B12.  Adequate levels of vitamin C are also extremely helpful in aiding the body to absorb the iron that you do take in. 

According to WebMD risk factors for low iron during pregnancy include: 

  • Being pregnant with multiples
  • Two pregnancies close together
  • Vomiting a lot due to morning sickness and nausea
  • Being a pregnant teenager
  • Not eating enough foods that are rich in iron
  • had anemia previous to becoming pregnant

I’d like to add that improper digestion can also keep your body from receiving the nutrients that it needs to be and stay healthy.  So make sure you doing things to aid your digestion daily.

As a childbirth Doula, Nutritional Therapist and Family Herbalist I always move toward food before supplements when there is a nutrient deficiency in the body.   Especially when it comes with providing the body with a metal such as iron that can be difficult for the body to absorb.  For many of my pregnant clients iron supplements cause constipation and nausea.    These aren’t discomforts that I want to add to my pregnant mommies days, plus they are clearly causing other dysfunctions in the body.

Important foods to include in your diet for adequate iron levels:

  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • lentils
  • spinach
  • sesame seeds
  • garbanzo beans
  • lima beans
  • olives
  • navy beans
  • swiss chard
  • kidney beans

Sometimes, mommies are eating enough of these iron rich foods, but still need help additional support with absorption.  Most of the time it is related to getting the wrong ratio of nutrients.  The best way to remedy this is to eat foods and herbs that are most easily absorbed.

This herbal based product has become one favorite of mine and has been known to work very well for some moms.

Another thing I found that works for most of my clients to build blood properly is a nettle infusion.  Drinking close to a quart a day seems the most helpful.  However, it is important to remember that nettle is a diuretic like many herbs so it is important to drink plenty of water along with the nettle and peppermint tea infusion.

The Health Benefits of Nettle

Stinging nettles will supply you with plenty of bioavaliable iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, D,  K, B6 & Folate.   Nettle is also known to nourish adrenal glands which often get overworked during pregnancy.  Nettles are found in the wild during certain times of year or you can purchase them from Mountain Rose Herbs.

The Health Benefits of Mint

There are many varieties of mine available.   I often have peppermint on hand since that is one of my favorites, but you can add any variety to this recipe.  Mint has been known to aid in digestion.  Vitamins A, C, as well as all the B vitamins can be found in peppermint.  I love to buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.

How to Make a Nettle Infusion: 


Dried (or fresh) Nettle leaves (I buy herbs here)
Dried (or fresh) Mint leaves (I buy herbs here)
Real Salt
Boiling Water


Add 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried to a quart mason jar.  Add a few pinches of salt and boiling water.  Allow mixture to sit overnight.  The next day strain and sip throughout the day. If you need a little bit of a sweeter flavor feel free to add a small dash of honey or maple syrup.

Here’s to a healthy happy baby!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

Don't know what to make for dinner?