Anemia is a medical condition, where, there is a deficiency of red blood cells (that contain hemoglobin) that carries oxygen to tissue. When the tissues do not receive an adequate amount of oxygen, many organs and functions are negatively affected. Anemia during pregnancy is a very serious concern because it is associated with low birth weight, premature birth, and even maternal mortality.
Women who are pregnant are generally at a much higher risk for developing anemia due to the excess amount of blood the body produces to help provide nutrients for the baby. Anemia during pregnancy can be a somewhat mild condition too, and easily treated diagnosed in its early stages. However, it can become dangerous if it goes untreated and can hurt both the mother and the baby.
Types of Anemia during pregnancy
There are over 400 different types of anemia, but some are more prevalent in pregnancy. The most commonly experienced types of anemia during pregnancy are:
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Folate-deficiency anemia
- Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
What causes anemia during pregnancy?
- Reduction in hemoglobin due to the large amount of plasma produced.
- Disproportion between the rates of increase for plasma and erythrocytes during the second trimester
- Not enough iron in the diet. The iron being produced is needed for your body to increase your own blood volume. Without an iron supplement, there is not enough iron to feed the blood supply of the growing fetus.
Symptoms of anemia during pregnancy
- Weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Chest Pain
- Pale skin, lips, and nails
- Cold hands and feet
- Trouble concentrating
What is the treatment?
You will be given vitamins and supplements for your daily use. This is usually all that is needed to combat anemia. In very rare cases if your case is severe, you may need a blood transfusion. Speak to your doctor always and keep track of your blood count and general health.