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Anemia during Pregnancy

If a woman has hemoglobin less than 10 gm/dl, then she suffers from anemia. Pregnant women should be tested for anemia as it has been found in eighty percent of the cases. Adequate amount of hemoglobin is needed for the proper growth of fetus as it carries oxygen to the body cells and tissues.

Three types of anemia in pregnant women

Iron deficiency: Women may suffer from poor absorption of iron, which can cause deficiency and in such cases, the woman may have to take medication to replenish the lost iron stores. You may have to take iron supplement everyday and sometimes, iron supplement may cause upset stomach and nausea.

Sickle cell anemia: Woman may suffer from sickle cell anemia, in which the red blood cells are abnormally developed and it blocks the blood vessels. Pregnant woman may pass the medical problem to her baby and she should take treatment from the early weeks of pregnancy.

Thalassemia: It is a hereditary condition in which the body has a low production of protein to form the red blood cells.

Causes of anemia

1. Nutritional deficiency

2. Deficiency of folic acid

3. Excessive loss of blood by injury or hemorrhoids

4. Gastrointestinal bleeding

5. Changes in digestive tract during pregnancy can cause anemia even if the woman takes adequate amount of folic acid or iron.

Prevention of anemia

1. Take diet rich in iron: Whole grain breads, cereals, liver, eggs, dry fruits and beef are rich in iron.

2. Wheat germ, peanut butter, broccoli, mushroom and asparagus are rich in folic acid.

3. Vitamin C helps in absorption of the iron through the digestive tract and one should take citrus fruits and vegetables along with iron supplements.

4. Do not take milk with iron supplements because calcium prevents absorption of iron into the body.

5. Iron supplements can cause dark bowel movements but it is not dangerous condition. Other stomach disorders related to intake of iron supplement are constipation and diarrhea.


1. Excessive tiredness and fatigue

2. Breathlessness

3. Paleness

4. Inflammation and nausea

5. Abnormal heartbeat

6. Lack of concentration

7. Jaundice

8. Pain in abdomen

Risks factors

Pregnant women are at a high risk during the following conditions

1. Multiple vitamin deficiency

2. Lack of nutrition

3. Smoking or alcohol intake

4. Twin or multiple fetuses

5. Disorder of digestive tract

6. Intake of certain medications


1. Take enough rest.

2. Take iron supplements and Folate tablets.

3. If you suffer from poor absorption of iron, you can take injections for absorption of mineral into the body.

4. Increase amount of fiber and water in diet.

5. Do not skip meals. Take meal on time and avoid stress.

Risks of anemia

1. Woman suffering from anemia are at a high risk of having premature labor.

2. Woman may suffer from blood loss during labor and she may need blood transfusion.

3. She may be at a high risk of getting infections of digestive tract and reproductive organs.

 Read Related Articles

Pregnancy and Asthma
Stillbirth Causes and Symptoms
Sore Breasts in Early Pregnancy
Constipation during Pregnancy

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