How Does Anemia During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

How Does Anemia During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

How Does Anemia During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

When your blood has insufficient red blood cells, it is known as Anemia. When there are insufficient red blood cells, it becomes difficult for your blood to carry oxygen or iron. This can affect the functioning of the nerves and muscles. Remember, when you are pregnant, your baby requires your blood as well. 

Who is at risk?

Pregnant women are prone to getting anemia if they happen to be vegetarians; this also means there’s a risk of being vitamin B12 deficient. Even weight loss-related surgery that includes part of the stomach being removed can cause anemia.  

Anemia in pregnancy: the causes

A woman can experience different types of anemia.

-Anemia of pregnancy

While being pregnant, the amount of blood increases, and in order to produce more red blood cells, iron and vitamins are required. Insufficient iron can cause anemia. However, it is not abnormal unless the red blood cell count drops drastically. 

-Iron deficiency anemia

While being pregnant, your baby makes use of your red blood cells for growth, particularly in the last few months of being pregnant. Women who have insufficient iron stores are prone to getting iron-deficiency anemia. Good nutrition could help in this case. 

-Vitamin B12 deficiency

To make red blood cells and protein, Vitamin B12 is important. Eating meat, eggs and poultry can address this. Even Vitamin B12 shots help. 

-Folate deficiency 

Folate is a B vitamin that helps in cell growth. You could become iron deficient if there isn’t enough folate while you’re pregnant. Folic acid brings down the risk of the baby being born with spinal cord and brain defects. 

Symptoms of Anemia during pregnancy

  • Pale palms, lips and skin
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Finding it hard to focus
  • Labored breathing
  • Cold hands and feet

Treatment for anemia during pregnancy

Treatment depends on the symptoms, general health and age. Also, the severity of the condition matters too. You will need iron supplements for iron deficiency anemia. Consuming iron supplements with citrus juice makes it easier for the body to absorb them. However, iron supplements can result in darkish stools and nausea. It is likely to harden the stool as well. 

Is there a prevention for anemia during pregnancy?

Any amount of good nutrition not only keeps anemia away, but also plays a part in building nutritional stores in the body. Eating healthy is vital during pregnancy and ensures there is sufficient iron and other required nutrients for the growing baby. 

Does it affect the baby?

When the anemia is severe in a pregnant woman, it increases the risk of preterm low-birth weight babies, along with postpartum depression in the mother. There have also been some instances when the infant is reported dead before or even after delivery.  

The most effective way to keep anemia away, and thus, keeping your baby healthy, is by eating protein. It can be any kind of meat: beef, pork, duck, turkey, lamb, fish or chicken. Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli are recommended for hardcore vegetarians.

Ankura Hospital
Author: Ankura Hospital

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