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Anemia during pregnancy : causes, symptoms and prevention

Published Sat Aug 03 2013 By Jhr Na
Anemia during pregnancy : causes, symptoms and prevention

Anemia is a condition when there is a decrease in a number of red blood cells or we can just say the decrease in hemoglobin. Pregnancy is a very vital period, there are many chances that you may develop anemia.

 

When you develop an anemia, your blood can't supply enough oxygen to the tissues and all other organs. So, its normal that its function will be disturbed.

During pregnancy, your body needs to produce extra red blood cells for the fetus. So developing anemia can be quite dangerous during pregnancy. Developing mild anemia is common but severe anemia can lead to preterm delivery, fetus mortality, underdevelopment, etc.

Usually, there are three types of anemia during pregnancy only if you don't have any genetic anemic elements (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia).

  1. cyanocobalamin deficiency
  2. folate deficiency
  3. Iron deficiency

your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a red blood cell component which carries oxygen. But when there is a deficiency of iron in the body, the body is unable to make the hemoglobin. So, what happens next is red blood cells will be normal in number but lacks hemoglobin.

So it cants supply enough oxygen to the body and during pregnancy, the growing fetus will get less oxygen which hampers its growth and development. Folic acid is a type of vitamin B which is very necessary for the body to make new healthy red blood cells.

We can it's like a necessary component to build a red blood cell. But how can a body build healthy red blood cells when there is a deficiency of necessary element. Same goes for the cyanocobalamin deficiency (vitamin B12).

 Causes;

  • Poor diet. Its one of the major predisposing factors for anemia. When a woman is pregnant, she needs a lot of vitamins, iron, proteins and many other nutrients... I mean a lot.
  • Early pregnancy. Getting pregnancy in teens can also result in anemia
  • Interval of pregnancy is too short. There should be at least a gap of 3 years during each pregnancy.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding. It can result in the decrease in the number of red blood cells.
  • Stomach ulcers and hemorrhoids, which can result in bleeding and can cause anemia.

 symptoms;

  • Pale skin, lips which are as a result of oxygen deficiency in the tissues. Especially the fingertips and nose tips become pale during pregnancy.
  • Feeling weak and getting fatigue soon.
  • Dizziness and headaches.
  • Increase in heartbeats and shortness of breath.

 Prevention;

“prevention is better than cure”. We all have heard this saying and its a fact. So, it's better not to have anemia during pregnancy but we all are worrying how can we avoid anemia. Well, it's a very necessary thing to know during pregnancy. As we all learned the causes of developing anemia.

So, its simple you just avoid the causes. But how ??? well, the main thing all the pregnant mothers should know is to eat a proper diet. It's like what you eat is what your child gets. So, mothers start eating healthy. For supplying enough iron to the body, you should take enough meats, poultry, milk products, fishes in your diet.

Green leafy vegetables, yellow colored fruits are rich in vitamins. Cereals, beans are also a great source of iron like the meat. Taking enough citrus fruits like lemons, oranges can help the body to absorb enough irons. 

But remember, when you are pregnant it's better to get your blood checkup routinely done and if you feel like you are getting anemic it's better to take some supplementary pills as prescribed by the doctors.