Most women face anemia during pregnancy and it’s important to know why. Anemia usually occurs due to lack of iron in the blood. Your blood may not have enough functioning red blood cells to transport oxygen to other tissues and organs. Mild anemia is common but severe cases must be immediately treated.
Types of Anemia
-Iron deficiency anemia is when there is lack of hemoglobin to transport oxygen to organs.
-Folate deficiency anemia is due to lack of a kind of B vitamin called folate, which is found in green vegetables. Folic acid is a man-made substitute for folate.
-Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when women don’t eat enough meat, dairy products, eggs etc during pregnancy. It becomes difficult for the body to produce healthy RBC’s.
Symptoms of anemia
Anemia tends to occur in women who have had back to back pregnancies, more than one child in the womb, heavy vomiting or were a victim of anemia even before becoming pregnant.
The symptoms include shortness of breath, getting tired very easily, pale lips or skin, pale and brittle nails and a rapid heartbeat.
Effects of anemia
Having a severe case of anemia during pregnancy could increase your chances of postpartum depression. If the condition persists for long, you may have to opt for a blood transfusion.
The baby might face some developmental disorders or even be born with anemia. The baby might also be a preterm baby or be underweight due to the anemia.
Treatment for anemia
You might be asked to take the hemoglobin test first to check whether you are anemic or not. If you are, the doctor might advise you to start taking iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid supplements, according to the kind of anemia you have. You would have to visit the clinic for several hemoglobin tests to track the progress of the treatment. You could also be asked to include certain foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products into your diet.