Anemia means reduced red blood cells in the body which cause unusual tiredness. This decrease in red blood cells can be because of lack of production or increased loss of blood. Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow and require iron, folic acid and vitamin B 12 for production. If any of these are lacking then it will also cause anemia. Anemia during pregnancy is very common because there is increased demand of iron and vitamins.
Causes of Anemia during Pregnancy
During pregnancy mother has an increased demand of red blood cells because she has to provide nourishment for the developing baby as well. The mother must increase her supply of red blood cells. During pregnancy the blood volume increases by 50 % and plasma concentration is greater which cause dilution of blood, causing decrease hemoglobin. Other causes of anemia are diet deficiencies i.e. diet lacking in iron or vitamins and folic acid. Loss of blood and multiple pregnancies is also a cause of severe anemia.
Anemia symptoms are extreme tiredness and palor, palpitations, breathlessness and dizziness. If there is severe lack of blood then it can cause chest pain and headaches.
How to Avoid Anemia
The best way to avoid anemia during pregnancy is to have a balanced, nourishing diet. Animal and plant both sources of iron should be included in the diet. Supplements of iron and folic acid are also important. In addition to iron and folic acid vitamin C should also be added in the diet because it aids in the absorption of iron.
Affects On Baby
The affects of anemia upon baby are that iron deficiency is linked to an increased risk of preterm birth. It is also one of the causes of low birth weight babies and is associated with higher incidence of still birth. Anemic mother causes infant to have low iron stores leading to anemia in later infancy.