It is a condition in which the haemoglobin level of the blood is low and is relatively common in pregnant women, more so in India. During pregnancy, your blood amount typically increases to provide nourishment to the growing baby and this might lead to a reduction in concentration of haemoglobin in the blood, causing anaemia. Fortunately, most of the patients with anaemia in pregnancy can be managed well, and it usually does not lead to any major complications.
Anaemia during pregnancy is very common and is usually very mild. There are hundreds of possible reasons for becoming anaemic while pregnant. Here is a list of the commonest causes of anaemia in pregnancy:
Folate and Vitamin B12 levels are not just important for you, but they are crucial for the baby’s growth too. Deficiency of these vitamins can cause several abnormalities in the baby, like neural tube defects, low birth weight or even preterm labour.
Here is a list of risk factors that can make you anaemic while pregnant:
Symptoms of anaemia in pregnancy can be mild to begin with, and might go unnoticed. As anaemia worsens, you may experience more severe symptoms.
Symptoms of anaemia in pregnancy include:
Your doctor will first examine you and check for signs of anaemia in pregnancy.
Signs of anaemia in pregnancy include:
Apart from these signs, your doctor may ask you for some of the following tests, to confirm the cause of anaemia. Common tests for diagnosing the cause of anaemia are:
Low haemoglobin during pregnancy is not only harmful for the mother, but for the growing baby as well. If you are anaemic while pregnant, you may be at an increased risk of developing any of the following complications:
Anaemia during pregnancy effects on baby includes the following:
The treatment of anaemia during pregnancy is purely dependent on the cause of anaemia. You may need to alter your diet and might require certain medications for correcting the deficiency.
If you are experiencing iron deficiency anaemia symptoms, your dietary changes include addition of:
Anaemia due to low iron in pregnancy might also require you to take iron supplements.
If your anaemia is because of folate or vitamin B12, you are required to add foods rich in folate as well as vitamin B12, which includes green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis and dairy products. If this is not sufficient for combatting anaemia in pregnancy, then you may require folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation.
Talk to your doctor if you have been experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and understand how to reverse them.