Anaemia means reduction in haemoglobin below a certain critical level. Any haemoglobin level below 11 gm in pregnancy is considered anaemia. The incidence in India is very high about 40-80%.
During pregnancy additional blood cells are produced by the body to support the growth of the baby. If there is deficiency in diet or supplements are not taken, the haemoglobin level goes down. Most common cause of anaemia in pregnancy is iron- deficiency. Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency also causes anaemia. Sometimes bleeding during pregnancy causes blood loss and resulting anaemia. Some females have blood disorders like thallasemia trait and haemoglobin level doesn’t rise during pregnancy in spite of supplements.
Women who have a low haemoglobin level before the start of pregnancy and those who don’t take proper diet and iron / vitamin supplements are prone to getting anemia during pregnancy. Also those who have pregnancies without gap or twin pregnancies or have severe vomiting during pregnancy are prone to getting low haemoglobin.
Anaemia causes tiredness, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, irritatability, and poor growth of the baby inside the womb and there can be a risk for premature delivery of the baby.
It is important for the would be mother to have a normal haemoglobin level to prevent complications to both herself and her baby during pregnancy and childbirth.
Iron folate tablets are routinely prescribed to all pregnant patients along with a diet rich in proteins and vitamins. Some more helpful dietary tips can be followed like :
Taking iron tablets with citrus fruit juice increases its absorption in the body. Leafy green vegetables, beans, pulses, eggs, poultry should be routinely added to the daily diet to prevent anaemia.
It is important to have a haemoglobin level checked before planning a pregnancy so that you don’t start a pregnancy with anaemia. Otherwise it becomes a difficult journey of nine months. And you might not have a healthy and happy experience of motherhood.
Myself at themilestones.org normally suggest a preconception session of counseling for the couple who plans a pregnancy wherein basic health tests and checkups are done.
By doing this u can avoid many complications during the antenatal period and the pregnancy period can be quite happy healthy and hassle free.