If you're suffering from pregnancy-related anemia, you likely have a number of questions. To ease your fears and to ensure that you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy, below is an overview of what causes anemia during pregnancy, what symptoms you should watch out for, and how anemia can be treated and prevented.
What Causes Anemia During Pregnancy?
The most common cause of anemia during pregnancy is an iron-deficiency, though it's possible to experience anemia due to a folate-deficiency or a vitamin B12 deficiency.
When it comes to an iron-deficiency, your blood doesn't have enough iron within it to carry the blood throughout your body which can lead to a number of complications. While all pregnant women are at-risk of developing an iron-deficiency, some women are more at risk than others. Risk factors include carrying multiples, back-to-back pregnancies, or suffering from anemia prior to pregnancy. All women should be aware of what symptoms to look for, but this is doubly true for those who are at a greater risk of developing the condition.
What are the Symptoms of Pregnancy-Related Anemia?
As mentioned above, a number of complications can develop when blood isn't able to get where it needs to go. This can lead to some tell-tale symptoms.
While tiredness can be common during pregnancy, tiredness related to anemia can be overwhelming and may include generalized weakness. If you're anemic, you may have difficulty concentrating. You may also develop a paler complexion. While it's important to listen to your body, it can be easy for anemia to go unnoticed, so regular blood draws should be performed throughout your pregnancy.
How is Anemia During Pregnancy Treated and Prevented?
Treating and preventing anemia caused by an iron-deficiency is easy and can help you to prevent further complications, such as giving birth prematurely or needing a blood transfusion.
If anemia is suspected, it's likely that your doctor will have you taking an iron supplement. If you're able to get enough iron from the foods you're eating, you may be able to stop the supplement, but only if your blood tests show continued improvement in your iron levels. Treatment and prevention include a diet high in iron-rich foods, such as meat and dark, leafy greens. Your doctor may also prescribe a vitamin C supplement, as vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron.
To learn more about pregnancy-related anemia and how you can combat it, consult with your OB today. Talk to a medical clinic, such as the Bayview OB GYN Women's Care Florida, for more information about pregnancy related anemia.