Pregnancy may have some effects on your body that can make you feel more tired than usual. Anemia is a very common condition that affects 1 in 2 pregnant women. If you get anemia during pregnancy, your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and your baby. This can harm your health and is typically caused by iron-deficiency anemia. The body makes more blood during pregnancy to support the growth of your baby.
If you are pregnant and missing one or more vitamins, nutrients, or blood cells, or if you have an abnormal amount of these things, your body may be unable to make enough extra blood to keep up with increasing demands. Anemia commonly develops during pregnancy—it is normal to have mild anemia. However, anemia can also be severe. This can happen if you are low in iron or other nutrients, or for a variety of other reasons.
Anemia during pregnancy is common. But it can lead to serious problems for your baby and you if it is not treated. That is why it is important to make sure that your blood test results are normal.
During pregnancy, your red blood cells become less able to carry oxygen to the baby. This is called anemia. Mild anemia may not have symptoms, but you may feel tired and weak if it is more severe. In some cases, anemia can increase the risk of serious complications.
If you are pregnant, you may have anemia. Find out why it is important to see your doctor if you have symptoms like fatigue and weakness.
Types of Anemia during Pregnancy
The most common type of anemia that women experience during pregnancy is due to iron deficiency (not having enough iron). In addition to iron deficiency, other types of anemia that occur during pregnancy may be due to a lack of vitamin B12 or folate. All three can cause your body not to have enough red blood cells, which prevents them from properly delivering oxygen to different parts of the body.
Vitamin B12 deficiency- When a woman does not get enough vitamin B12 from her diet, her body cannot produce enough healthy red blood cells. If a pregnant woman does not have enough iron or B12, she can develop iron-deficiency anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia affects about 1 in 10 women during pregnancy and 2 in 10 after giving birth. Having low levels of iron or B12 can contribute to birth defects, such as neural tube abnormalities, and could lead to preterm labor.
Iron-deficiency anemia– Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when the body does not have enough iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells, and it transports oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues throughout the body. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in pregnancy. It occurs when your body’s iron stores are used up, and your body does not have enough iron to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin. That is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. In some cases, diet alone can improve anemia. But it is usually necessary to take iron supplements along with eating more iron-rich foods.
Folate-deficiency anemia– Folate is the vitamin found naturally in certain foods like green leafy vegetables A type of B vitamin, the body needs folate to produce new cells, including healthy red blood cells. During pregnancy, women need extra folate. But sometimes they do not get enough from their diet.
Folate-deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia during pregnancy. Your body needs folate, also known as vitamin B-9, to make healthy, new cells. If you do not get enough folate from your diet, then your body may have trouble making red blood cells for you and your baby.
What are the Risk Factors for Anemia in Pregnancy?
All pregnant women are at risk of anemia. However, some factors increase the risk, including being a teen, having two pregnancies close together, or vomiting frequently because of morning sickness.
Pregnant women are at risk of anemia because they need more iron and folic acid than usual. But some women have a higher risk than others. Causes include multiple pregnancies, two pregnancies close together, morning sickness, teenage pregnancy, and not eating enough foods that are rich in iron.
What are the Symptoms of Anemia During Pregnancy?
Typical symptoms of anemia during pregnancy include pale skin, lips, and nails, as well as fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and trouble concentrating.
Being pregnant and anemic does not necessarily mean you will experience complications. But if your anemia is left untreated, your baby could have a low birth weight or have other medical issues. And you are more likely to need a blood transfusion if you have complications during labor and delivery.
Increased Risks of Anemia in Pregnancy
Iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy can increase your risk of having a preterm or low-birth-weight baby, losing a significant amount of blood during delivery, and postpartum depression. Anemia in the mother can also result in an anemic baby and developmental delays.
Untreated anemia during pregnancy also increases your risk although mild anemia is not likely to cause problems for your baby, severe anemia can put you and your baby at risk of complications. If you have untreated iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy, this can increase your risk of complications, such as delivering a preterm or low-birth-weight baby. Anemia can also affect the oxygen supply to your baby, leading to serious complications.
Availability of Tests for Anemia
One of the tests available is called anemia testing which can be done during your first prenatal appointment. This blood test will let you know whether or not you have anaemia.
Anemia means that a person does not have enough red blood cells or haemoglobin, which are needed to carry oxygen through the body. The most common cause of anemia is a lack of iron in the diet. Iron deficiency is common during pregnancy because the baby needs a lot of iron.
Your doctor will test for Anemia at some point with a simple blood test. The Haematocrit Test is the most common and measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood to check for Anemia.
In pregnancy, your iron needs are higher. Your baby needs iron to make haemoglobin in red blood cells. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen throughout your body. If you have lower than normal levels of haemoglobin or haematocrit, you may have iron-deficiency anaemia.
It is important to know as early as possible if you have anemia while you are pregnant. If you do, your doctor can monitor your blood closely, and treat you if necessary.
What is the right way of Treatment for Anemia?
If you are diagnosed with anemia during your pregnancy, your doctor will talk to you about treatment. If your iron levels are low, you may need to start taking an iron supplement or folic acid supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamins. Your doctor may also suggest some dietary changes.
Treatment for anemia associated with iron deficiency includes iron supplements. Your doctor will recommend that you take iron supplements three times daily until your blood tests show that your low iron levels have been restored to normal and your haemoglobin and haematocrit levels are within the normal range.
If you have anaemia, your iron level may be below. To raise your iron level, Doctor is likely to make changes to your diet and prescribe an iron supplement that you will take two times a day. You will also need to receive a vitamin B12 injection every three or four weeks throughout your pregnancy.
How to Prevent from Anemia?
Getting enough iron during pregnancy helps prevent anaemia. Simple steps can help you get the iron your body needs: eat well-balanced meals, take prenatal vitamins, and eat foods that are high in iron, such as green vegetables, red meat, poultry, and fish.
The best way to get the iron you need is to eat a variety of iron-rich foods, including lean red meat, poultry, fish, leafy dark green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and kale), fortified breakfast cereals and grains, beans, lentils, and tofu. Try to eat those foods with foods that are rich in vitamin C (such as strawberries, citrus fruits or juices, sweet peppers, tomatoes) or foods fortified with vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb more of the iron from the food you eat.
Eating foods that are rich in iron and vitamin C can help boost your intake of both nutrients. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Eating these foods at the same time as you eat iron-rich foods, such as spinach or kale, can help boost the amount of iron your body absorbs. Check with your doctor or midwife before taking a vitamin C or iron supplement during pregnancy.
As the blood supply in your body increases, your blood iron needs also grow. That is why it is a good idea to include iron-rich foods in your meals and snacks. Lean, red meat, poultry, and fish are all good sources of iron. Other good sources include beans, lentils, spinach, fortified bread, cereals, and pasta. If you choose to eat animal foods for iron, limit amounts that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Anemia is common during pregnancy. It affects one-quarter of all pregnant women. If you are diagnosed with anemia, it is important to learn about its causes and treatments and if your doctor prescribes a treatment, follow the directions carefully.
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