Anaemia is a condition where the number of red blood cells or the amount of haemoglobin in the body is less than normal. During pregnancy, your body's blood volume usually increases by about 50%. Your body needs extra iron to meet the increased haemoglobin requirements due to this increase in blood volume. If your body runs out of iron to meet the hemoglobin requirement, you become anemic. Anemia is a common problem during mid-pregnancy.
Decreasing iron levels in your body is a main reason for anemia. Anemia can result in hampered fetal growth, preterm labour and low birth weight.
Anemia is very common among Indian women. You can take a blood test to determine the iron levels in your blood.
Some causes of anemia are:
- Fewer red blood cells and hemoglobin content
- Lesser ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen or iron
- Insufficiency of iron and folic acid in your diet
- Deficiency of Vitamin B12 which is essential in forming red blood cells
- Using caffeinated products as part of your diet, resulting in less iron absorption
- Slowing down of digestion during pregnancy because of various hormones and thus inhibiting iron absorption
Some symptoms of anemia are:
- Constant tiredness or fatigue
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Appearance of lightly coloured lips and palms of hands
- Brittle nails
- Fast heart beat
- Blood loss without clotting
- Frequent headaches
- Trouble with concentration
Some ways to prevent anemia are:
Take food rich in iron, folic acid and prenatal vitamins. Remember that increased iron amounts in your body can trigger constipation. Taking Vitamin C along with your iron intake can reduce this.
Avoid excess of caffeinated drinks such as tea, cola and coffee which make iron absorption by the body difficult.
You can try the following tips to relieve yourself of anemia:
Increase the amount of iron, Vitamin B12 and folic acid in your diet. Your doctor may prescribe supplements as well.
Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks.