Signs of anemia during pregnancy

As delightful as it can be, pregnancy can also pose multiple health barriers through its course. Expectant mothers undergo tremendous changes that can sometimes lead to the development of health complications. In their attempt to protect their baby, it is possible that they lose sight of their own wellbeing. Conditions such as anemia are highly common in pregnant women. However, anemia in pregnancy can be successfully managed. The CK Birla Hospital, the best hospital for pregnancy in Gurgaon offers effective prenatal care. 

In this article, Dr Aruna Kalra, the best doctor for pregnancy, outlines the early signs of anemia during pregnancy. 

What is anemia?

It is amusingly believed that a pregnant woman eats for two. While this saying maybe a myth, an expecting mother does require additional nutrients such as iron. Your body utilises iron to make haemoglobin (a protein found in red blood cells) to supply oxygen to your tissues. The iron requirement of your body increases significantly during pregnancy. Your body requires sufficient haemoglobin to supply oxygen to your tissues and that of your baby’s. 

A deficiency of iron in expectant women is known as anemia in pregnancy. It is a life-threatning condition that can impact fetal growth and lead to complications such as low birth weight, premature delivery and postpartum depression. 

What are the risk factors of anemia?

Pregnancy may be complex but it does not have to be challenging for every woman. Each expectant mother faces unique health concerns during gestation. Some women are more vulnerable to being affected by anemia than others. 

Risk factors for anemia during pregnancy include:

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Heavy pre-pregnancy menstrual flow 
  • History of anemia 

What are the signs of anemia during pregnancy?

The signs and symptoms of anemia during pregnancy can, sometimes, be overlooked. It is essential to keep a strict watch on the early signs to avoid complications later in pregnancy. 

Common signs of anemia in pregnancy include:

  • Excessive fatigue 
  • Yellowish or pale skin 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats 
  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath 
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands 
  • Cold feet
  • Headache 
  • A low body temperature 
  • Irritability 

These signs can be misinterpreted or missed due to their commonness. If you experience any of the above given signs, you should ensure to meet your obstetrician soon. You can consult Dr Aruna Kalra, the best doctor for pregnancy, to discuss your symptoms. 

Your OB-GYN may indicate blood workup to diagnose anemia. He/she will assess your blood sample to examine the red blood count. Anemia in pregnancy can also be identified during your routine prenatal checkup. You can visit the CK Birla Hospital, the best hospital for pregnancy in Gurgaon, to know more about prenatal testing. 

How is anemia during pregnancy treated?

Your healthcare provider will assist you in achieving a healthy pregnancy. The foremost objective would be to prevent anemia. Your doctor would indicate you to load up on iron-rich food products. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and more are good sources of iron. Besides this, products such as red meat, eggs, legumes, dark chocolate, seeds, nuts, baked potato, dried beans, peas and fish are also rich in iron. 

Additionally, your doctor would prescribe prenatal vitamins (that contain sufficient amount of iron) to compensate for the lack of nutrient intake. You should ensure to avoid skipping your prenatal vitamins. 

If your symptoms are severe, your obstericians may take a different treatment approach to avoid risks during pregnancy.  

Visit the CK Birla Hospital, the best hospital for pregnancy in Gurgaon, to know more about anemia or other pregnancy conditions. Or book an appointment with Dr. Aruna Kalra, the best doctor for pregnancy, to have a personal consult.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/anemia-during-pregnancy/art-20114455

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/anemia/