Should you Avoid taking Iron and Calcium Pills together when you’re Pregnant?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 07, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Calcium and iron supplements are crucial for fetus.
  • Taking both supplements at the same time can be harmful.
  • Calcium may reduce the absorption rate of iron.
  • Take calcium and iron supplements at different times during the day.

Your body requires different nutrients for different roles to play at different times, however pregnancy has its own special requirements. One of these requirements is that you regularly take iron, folic acid and calcium supplements. Although your folic acid intake might be stopped a little after your second trimester, you will be to taking the calcium and iron supplements even after delivery. It is crucial that you take all the supplements on time without skipping. However, should you be taking iron and calcium supplements together?

pregnancy tablets

You should make sure that you take calcium and iron supplements separately with some time interval between both the oils. Taking calcium and iron supplements together may disrupt the normal absorption of the supplements. Calcium may reduce iron absorption rate when both the supplements are taken at the same time. It may even lead to iron deficiency and adverse effects on the fetus. To make sure that you get most benefits from the supplements meeting the requirements of your body, take calcium and iron supplements at separate times of the day.

To make sure you neither forget taking the supplements nor take them at the same time, you should preferably keep both strips of medication at separate locations inside your house. Also add reminders in your phone's calendar that repeat daily for all the supplements with iron and calcium placed at couple of hours between them. However, you should never forget the prescribed supplements as they are crucial for you and your baby during pregnancy or even after that.

folate tablets

Folic Acid

Folic acid helps in fetal brain and spine development and any deficiency of folic acid can lead to neural tube defects or malformation of the spine in the developing baby. You should take around 400 microgram folic acid every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant. You should eat foods, such as green leafy vegetables and brown rice that are rich in folate. Breakfast cereals, breads and margarines that have folic acid added to them can make a nice breakfast for you.


Proper calcium intake helps in development and strengthening of the overall skeletal structure of the baby. Calcium is very important for proper bone strength of both mother and child. Dairy products and fish with edible bones breakfast cereals, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables such as watercress and broccoli are other good sources of calcium. You should also take the calcium supplements prescribed by your doctor.


Iron helps improve your hemoglobin levels and help in organ and cell development of the baby. Iron deficiency may lead to anaemia. You should eat more of green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts as they are rich in iron.  If the iron level in your blood becomes low, you should also regularly take the prescribed amount of calcium supplements.


Image Courtesy : Getty

Read more articles on When Pregnant.

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