Everything You Need to Know About Anemia in Pregnancy

It is common to develop mild anemia during your pregnancy. But the severe anemia can pose some risk to your baby as well as your overall health. It happens due to certain deficiencies such as iron, folate, and vitamin B12. During pregnancy, your body produces extra blood to cater to the development of your fetus. The iron demand rapidly increases due to the rapid demand for healthy red blood cells.

During anemia, your blood has a lack of red blood cells that are essential in carrying out oxygen to different parts of your body as well as to your fetus. Anemia hampers the production of additional blood required for the development of the fetus. 

This post covers everything you need to know about Anemia in pregnancy, and how to remedy it naturally.

Classification of anemia

There are three types of anemia that you are likely to suffer during pregnancy. Such deficiencies are:

Iron-deficiency anemia

Due to less iron, the hemoglobin is produced less in the body. It is a vital protein that is also essential for red blood cell functionality. Low hemoglobin and iron levels lead to anemia.

Folate-deficiency anemia

Folate is an essential vitamin required to produce new cells in your body. These cells also include red blood cells. This essential vitamin is present in green leafy vegetables. During pregnancy, there is a rapid demand for red blood cells in your body, and folate deficiency might hamper it. Folate deficiency generally occurs because of a diet low in folates.

This deficiency can lead to certain birth defects, such as neural tube abnormalities and low birth weight. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is also essential for red blood cell production. It’s deficiency also leads to anemia. Meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs are rich in this vitamin, so women who don’t consume such foods are at risk of developing this type of anemia.

This deficiency can also result in certain birth defects such as neural tube abnormalities and preterm labor. 

Risks of Anemia

If you are pregnant and suffering from anemia, you pose the following risks:

  • Need for blood transfusion after delivery
  • Postpartum depression
  • Your infant might suffer from anemia
  • Delay in the development of your child

How to know that you are Anemic

Mild anemia doesn’t show any symptoms initially as your body is accustomed to compensate for it. However, severe anemia can impart the following symptoms:

  • Fatigued
  • Low energy 
  • Unusual rapid heartbeat
  • Headache while exercising 
  • Pale skin, lips, and nails
  • Prolonged weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Those women who have anemia due to iron deficiency will have symptoms like hunger for strange substances(paper, ice, and dirt) and soreness of the mouth with cracks at the corners.

Women who have anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency will show symptoms like the lost sense of touch and tingling of pins like sensation in hands and feet, difficulty in walking, stiffness of arms and legs, and dementia. 

Stay on track with your prenatal health the easy way!

Natural remedies

Apart from iron supplements, you can also treat anemia naturally by consuming certain foods that are rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Let’s look at them.

Spinach

Spinach comes in the category of green leafy vegetables, which is rich in iron. Though all vegetables have iron content, spinach has most of it among all of them. Consuming this food regularly is the key to spiking your iron levels.

You can get 3.5 mg of iron at every cup of 125 ml spinach

Oatmeal 

Oatmeal has low calories, high fiber, and rich iron content. Which will not only spike your iron levels in the body but will also help you in getting relief from constipation. The three-fourth cup of oatmeal can give you 6 mg of iron.

Liver

For meat lovers, consuming livers can also provide benefits. Among the liver category, the liver of pork can provide you 13.4 mg of iron in its 75 grams content. Along with that, the livers of chicken, turkey, and lamb can provide up to 10mg of iron in their 75 grams content. 

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the best snacks category that is iron-rich. You can consume them every day. Along with iron, it is also rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, fatty acids, etc. They are good for your overall health. 

A quarter of a cup of these seeds makes up to 8.6mg of iron.

Read This: Gestational Diabetes Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

 Prunes

Prunes are a combination of both vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins that helps in the efficient absorption of iron in your body. A cup of its juice can provide you up to 3.5 mg of iron

Tofu

Tofu is made from soy milk. It has an iron content of 6.6mg. Along with that, it is also rich in magnesium, protein, carbs, fiber, fats, manganese, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. Which is good for overall health.  

Seafood

Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon, halibut, perch, and haddock are rich sources of iron.

Precautionary measures

It is important to know that certain minerals and compounds can hamper the absorption of iron in your body. Those are calcium, phytate, and polyphenol compounds. Excess presence of such minerals and compounds leads to poor absorption of iron in your body. Make sure you avoid foods that are rich in them. Consume them in milder amounts. 

It is also important that you do regular checkups with the doctor for consultation of your diet and tracks your iron levels as well as your overall health progress. This is key for a healthy delivery. 

Guest Author Bio:

Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga, and fitness through her writing. Henna currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.

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