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Anemia During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
Women are generally at a higher risk of developing anemia compared to men. The risks spike when pregnancy is involved, and if left unchecked the consequences can be grave both for the woman and child.
Fortunately, there are several proven ways of mitigating the losses associated with anemia. If you are pregnant and suspect that you may be at risk of suffering from anemia, then immediately go check with a medical professional.
Know the Symptoms
Firstly, you have to know the symptoms of anemia to take the necessary measures early enough. Please note that your OB will take blood samples to test your iron levels during your first prenatal visit. However, anemia may develop gradually long after this appointment, so it is important to always be on the lookout.
Many pregnant women suffer from anemia unknowingly as its symptoms are common traits associated with prenatal period. They mostly include fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. However, certain additional symptoms may be a sure sign that you are suffering from the condition.
Symptoms of Anemia During Pregnancy
• Cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating.
• Pale skin, lips, and nails.
• Cold hands and feet.
• Chest pains and shortness of breath.
In addition to looking out for these symptoms, make sure that you visit your OB occasionally to get your blood screened for iron levels.
Know the Risk Factors
Certain women have a higher risk factor of developing anemia compared to others. These risks involve factors such as illnesses, dietary intake, and genetic makeup.
To start with, you may be pre-disposed to develop anemia if your body produces antibodies that automatically attack red blood cells – this is known as autoimmune hemolytic anemia. This condition may be temporary and moderate, and treatment is available in the form of medicine and corticosteroids.
You also stand a higher chance of suffering from anemia if you suffer from other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, among others. Additionally, research shows that women aged 35 years and above are at a higher risk of developing anemia during pregnancy when compared to younger women.
Physicians associate this with anatomic changes associated with old age – specifically with the body’s capability of developing red blood cells. Finally, the food you eat – or don’t eat – may determine whether or not you will develop anemia. This is one of the leading risk factors associated with the condition; as such, this article expounds on it below.
Know About Best Nutrition Benefits
You will be eating for two now that you are pregnant. Like most other minerals and nutrients, most of the iron in your body comes from the food you eat. As such, you should change your diet accordingly and give priority to foods that are rich in iron.
Foods to have to Avoid Anemia
Vegetables are especially rich in iron and folic acid.
In particular, vegetables such as
are especially rich in iron.
However, it is important that you wash them and cook them well or else you will damage the folic acid and other precious nutrients – if you don’t mind, you should try eating them raw.
Fruits are also rich in folic acid and vitamins that will boost your baby’s immune system. Eat a variety of fruits such as apples and oranges among others.
Finally, red meat is a good source of iron.
Most importantly, it boosts the body’s intake of iron from other foods such as vegetables and fruits. However, it is important to note that liver is not a suitable source of iron in spite of the general opinion – in fact, physicians advise pregnant women against eating liver for the whole term of their pregnancy.
Please note: sometimes food alone is not sufficient to increase your body’s iron levels. As such, you should consider taking supplements – your physician will recommend some supplements that are designed to directly add folic acid to your bloodstream.
Anemia is a major health risk for you and your baby, but it is treatable. As such, take these ideas into consideration and take the initiative to know whether you are suffering from the condition. And, whether you are suffering or not, be sure to eat a balanced diet containing food rich in iron and folic acid.
Recommended: Foods Rich in Iron
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And remember, a specialist must take blood samples and other necessary steps to assess your current and future wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to do even a routine check.