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What’s the Deal With Getting Enough Iron After Delivery?

I heard I’m supposed to be taking iron supplements. Why?

Re:

I heard I’m supposed to be taking iron supplements. Why?

The Bump Expert

Most women are anemic after delivery, which means you’re liable to feel extra-tired and weak (as if you need that with all this other stuff!). This is because you lose blood whether you have an uncomplicated vaginal delivery or a c-section.

Getting plenty of iron will rebuild your iron stores and make you feel better. You can do that with either an iron-rich diet or by taking iron supplements. But don’t go too crazy. One tablet of 325 mg of iron is plenty -- any more than that and you risk stomachaches and constipation, which will just make things worse.

As far as your diet is concerned, load up on leafy green vegetables, lean red meat, liver (if you can stand it), fish, poultry, dried fruits and iron-fortified cereals. Also, get plenty of vitamin C, since it helps your body absorb iron -- orange juice, red peppers and strawberries are just a few great choices.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Postbirth Recovery 101

20 Ways to Eat Better

Overcoming the Baby Blues

Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy