Anemia is one of the commonest complications related to pregnancy. If you’re pregnant then there are chances that you may develop anemia.
It occurs when your bloodstream doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. You may feel tired and weak because of anemia.
Anemia In Pregnancy
The iron deficiency anemia is among the most common anemia in pregnancy. Iron deficiency anemia is commonly prevalent amongst childbearing women, especially women from the unprivileged background are mostly anemic.
According to WHO, “Anemia in pregnancy is present when the hemoglobin is 11gm or less.”
It’s normal to have mild anemia in pregnancy. Though severe anemia occurs because of several reasons. And if goes untreated can lead to complications in pregnancy. Find out why anemia in pregnancy occurs and what you can do about it.
What causes iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy?
If a pregnant woman is taking a balanced diet chance to develop anemia is less. Your body needs about 1000 mg of iron during pregnancy. Out of which 500-600 mg is for RBC expansion, 300 mg is for fetus and placenta.
An adequate diet can only provide 20mg of iron, which can not fulfill the increased demands during this period.
Inadequate diet because of socio-economic factors, faulty diet habits, loss of appetite, vomiting in pregnancy leads to iron deficiency.
Multiple or recurring pregnancies with no iron reserve prolonged by lactation period is a major cause in India.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy
You may feel exhausted, weak, indigestion, palpitation, dyspnoea, swelling of the legs and face. I’ve seen generalized swelling especially around the face, legs with less than 6gm of hemoglobin. The patient also has breathlessness and feels fatigued and dizziness.
How does anemia in pregnancy affect the baby?
Severe iron deficiency increases the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and chances to develop anemia in the neonatal period. It may lead to intrauterine death sometimes.
How does anemia in pregnancy affect the mother?
A mild deficiency may not have any effect on pregnancy. Moderate may cause weakness, fatigue, etc.
Severe anemia leads to complications. Severe deficiency can be fatal for both the mother and the fetus.
Anemia is responsible for 20% of maternal death across the globe
The woman may have pre-eclampsia, poor immunity leads to several infections, preterm labor. Sometimes palpitations, breathlessness and even heart attack which may be fatal.
How to prevent Anemia in Pregnancy?
A realistic balanced diet is rich in iron and protein, which is easily available and easy to digest. The food which is rich like iron like meat, egg, liver, green vegetables, figs, green peas, beans, jaggery, etc. I recommend my patients to eat jaggery especially from an unprivileged background who don’t effort a good diet.
Daily intake of 200mg of ferrous sulphate along with 1 mg of folic acid. Tea should be avoided within 1 hour of taking an iron tablet.
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DISCLAIMER: The content in this post is purely meant for educational purpose only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice. One should consult the expert for any related information