Pregnancy Can Cause Decreased Hemoglobin

Pregnant women are prone to anemia. This condition occurs when the blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells (hemoglobin) to carry oxygen to tissues and the unborn baby. During pregnancy, the body must produce more blood than usual to support the growing baby.

When a mother doesn’t get enough iron or certain other nutrients, the body cannot produce the number of red blood cells needed to make this extra blood. In fact, mild anemia during pregnancy is common. Even so, this condition should not be allowed to drag on. Serious anemia can increase the risk of complications such as premature birth. Here’s what a mother needs to know about anemia.

Types of Anemia During Pregnancy

Anemia is divided into several types depending on the amount of what substances are inadequate. Launching from WebMD, the following types of anemia can be experienced by pregnant women:

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia

This type of anemia occurs when the body does not have enough iron to produce an adequate amount of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Pregnant women with iron-deficiency anemia mean their blood cannot carry enough oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

  • Folate Deficiency Anemia

Folate is a vitamin found naturally in certain foods such as green leafy vegetables. The body needs folate to produce new cells, including healthy red blood cells. During pregnancy, women need adequate amounts of folate. When there is not enough folate, the body cannot make enough normal red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

The body needs vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells. When pregnant women do not get enough vitamin B12 from food sources, the body cannot produce enough healthy red blood cells.

Risk of Anemia in Pregnancy

Anemia is characterized by symptoms of pale skin, lips and nails. In addition, pregnant women can also feel very tired, dizzy, short of breath, fast heart rate and difficulty concentrating. In the early stages of anemia, pregnant women may not have obvious symptoms. So, make sure to get regular blood tests to check for anemia every time you see a doctor.

Mild anemia may recover quickly by eating healthy foods. However, if anemia is left untreated, this condition can increase the risk of preterm birth, postpartum depression, developmental delays in the baby and birth defects. Therefore, make sure the mother gets adequate vitamin intake during pregnancy.

Steps to Prevent Anemia in Pregnant Women

The way to prevent anemia during pregnancy is to make sure the mother needs to eat a balanced diet and add more foods that are high in iron. Aim to eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day, such as:

  • Lean red meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and kale);
  • Cereals and grains fortified with iron or folate;
  • Beans, lentils, and tofu;
  • Egg.

Mothers also need to take prenatal vitamins containing iron and folic acid that have been prescribed by a doctor.

Dr. Eka

A doctor, wife and mother of three. Spread the world with valid information.

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