Anemia occurs when there is a deficiency of red blood cells in the body to carry oxygen to the tissue and to the other parts of the body. We all know that during pregnancy more blood is produced in the body to support the growth of the baby. So anaemia may hinder the proper development of the foetus. If there is a deficiency of iron or other nutrients, the body is unable to produce red blood cells.

Mild anemia is very common during pregnancy. But in case of deficiency of iron and other nutrients, you may suffer from severe anemia which is neither good for you more for your baby. Anemia can make you really weary and tired. It is the most common disorder of the blood. Well within the time it should be treated otherwise it may create severe complications for you and for the baby.

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Understanding Anemia in Pregnancy: Causes and Symptoms

1. Types:

During pregnancy, there are several types of anemia that can occur due to various reasons. The most common types of anemia during pregnancy include:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Folate-deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Thalassemia

2. Causes:

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce the required amount of hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. This is the most common form of anemia during pregnancy.

Folate deficiency anemia occurs when there is an insufficient amount of folic acid (a type of B-vitamin) in the body. Folate is required to produce new red blood cells. In the deficiency of folate, the body is unable to produce enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to all the tissues in the body.

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3. Symptoms:

  • Tired and weary all the time
  • Rapid or thumping heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath that you take
  • Trouble in concentration
  • Skin becoming paler.
  • Heart palpitation and irritability

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4. Risk Factors:

The risk of becoming anemic increases if

  • The pregnant woman is a teenager
  • Don’t consume good foods which are rich in iron and other nutrients
  • Carrying more than one child in the womb.
  • Time period between two pregnancies was not much.

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5. Remedies:

1) Vitamin B12- this vitamin is required by the body to produce red blood cells. When a pregnant woman doesn’t get enough of this vitamin from the intake of food, their body is unable to produce red blood cells.

2)  For this vitamin one needs to eat meat, poultry products, eggs and dairy products.

3) Eat a diet which provides you with an adequate amount of iron supplements.

  • For non-vegans, you have red meat, poultry, and eggs. For vegans also there are plenty of food items that provide with iron. The list includes Beans, lentils, tofu, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, seeds and cereals containing iron.
  • One should also stop taking pills or supplements for calcium. Calcium hinders the body to absorb iron.
  • One should eat foods which help the iron to get absorbed by the body. This list of foods includes foods rich in vitamin C like amla, guava, and orange. Vitamin C supplements can also be consumed. Tomato juice, sliced bell peppers, strawberries, and grapefruits are good options to snack on.

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6. Other Tips:

High amounts of iron in the diet may upset your intestinal tract. So foods that are rich in iron is preferable over supplements contains iron. Supplements do have minor side effects on the body. High amounts may lead to constipation problems. During such conditions, one should drink prune juice as it is beneficial.

It is always better to consult the doctor before taking any form of supplements.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.