Iron deficiency during pregnancy can lead to anemia and make you feel weak and tired. Your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body and tissues when you have anemia. During pregnancy, you may require more blood to support the growth of the baby. However, if you don’t get enough iron and other nutrients, you may not be able to produce the required healthy red blood cells that you and your baby need.
If you are pregnant and have mild anemia, no need to worry, it’s normal to have it at this stage, but having more severe anemia can be a point of concern. It can increase complications during delivery and can also lead to preterm birth. Many nutritionists recommend iron supplements for pregnant women as they help build up extra blood for their body and growing fetus.
Here are a few things that you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of anemia in pregnant women.
Symptoms of Anemia During Pregnancy
You may not experience obvious symptoms in the early stages of anemia. Many of the symptoms you might only experience while you are pregnant, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you are anemic. So it is essential to get routine checkups and blood tests for anemia at your prenatal appointments. Here are some common symptoms of anemia that has seen in pregnant women are:
- Pale nails, skins, and lips.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Difficulty while breathing.
- Fast heartbeat
- Trouble concentrating
These are a few symptoms that are associated with anemia, and some women experience them during pregnancy period. They need proper supplements and treatment for the same.
Types of Anemia
During pregnancy, there are several kinds of anemia that can develop in women. These may include the following:
- Iron deficiency anemia
Anemia from iron deficiency is the inability of the body to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin. It occurs when the body does not meet the requirements of red blood cells required to carry oxygen to the body from the lungs. Besides, the blood fails to reach the tissues of our body and which can be dangerous for you if you are pregnant. It is one of the most common types of anemia during pregnancy, for which chewable iron supplements for women are recommended.
- Folate deficiency anemia
Certain food items contain folate, which is required for producing new cells. Eating green leafy vegetables can help create healthy red blood cells in our body as pregnant women need extra folate. However, sometimes pregnant women don’t get enough of it from their diet. When this happens, their body doesn’t make sufficient RBC transport oxygen throughout the body. Folic acid supplements can be taken to fulfill the deficiency. If you are pregnant, you should take care of folate deficiency, which can lead to specific congenital disabilities like low birth weight and tube abnormalities.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
In order to form healthy red blood cells, our body also needs vitamin B12. During pregnancy, women need more vitamins and minerals that she can’t get from her diet. Specific food intake has a higher risk of developing deficiency vitamin B12. These items may include eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy products. These deficiency could lead to preterm birth.
If you are pregnant, you should get enough iron fortified food. Having a balanced diet and eating iron fortified foods helps in preventing anemia. If you are pregnant, you should have the following food items in your three serving a day:
- lean red meat, poultry, and fish
- leafy, dark green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and kale)
- Iron-fortified cereals and grains
- beans, lentils, and tofu
- nuts and seeds
Treatment for Anemia
During pregnancy, you may need to start taking the recommended iron supplement for pregnant women and folic acid supplements. You may consult your doctor to add more foods that are high in iron and folic acid to your diet.