Low Iron Levels Can Affect Your Baby's Health

If you Have Asthma, Take Care of It.

Whether you're iron deficient or not, having asthma during pregnancy can put you at risk for high blood pressure, premature birth, and birth defects, found a study published in the 2009 New England Journal of Medicine.

So make sure you and your doctor have a good conversation about ways, both medical and nonmedical, to keep it under control for those nine months. Many pregnant women believe they have their asthma under control when they really don't, the 2009 study found.

Ditch the Fast Food.

That should be a no-brainer when you're pregnant—you don't want your baby being exposed to the pesticides and genetically modified ingredients found in junk. But eating a whole-foods diet can boost your iron levels, too. "Diets clearly have been changing negatively in respect to iron over the past 20 years," Triche says, pegging iron deficiency to diets that rely heavily on junk food.

And, according to a study published last year, a healthy pregnancy diet also wards off allergies and eczema in children.

Eat an Iron-Rich Diet.

"You should certainly always try to get as much iron as possible from whole foods," Triche says.

If you need recipe ideas, search the Rodale Recipe Finder for Anemia Recipes.

"But many women can't get enough from their diets," Triche adds, so ask your OB-GYN for suggestions about prenatal vitamins you can take. The supplements also help prevent deficiencies in some of the other vitamins and minerals that can affect your baby's lungs.

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