ANEMIA (IRON DEFICIENCY) IN PREGNANCY | CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENTSEmaan Shahid
ANEMIA IRON DEFICIENCY is a medical condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to various organs and tissues. This is due to low levels of iron in blood resulting in low hemoglobin level. Women especially pregnant women are more prone to anemia.
During pregnancy your body needs double the amount of iron to make more blood to supply oxygen to baby. If your body don’t have enough stores of iron, there are greater chances of developing iron deficiency anemia.
WHAT ARE COMPLICATIONS OF ANEMIA IN PREGNANCY?
Impaired involution of uterus
Death of fetus
Low birth weight
CLINICAL FEATURES OF ANEMIA IN PREGNANCY:
ANEMIA (IRON DEFICIENCY) SYMPTOMS:
Loss of appetite, indigestion
Swelling over foot
Brittle, flat nails
On sudden standing blackouts in front of eyes
Soft systolic murmur in mitral area
Tenderness in sternum
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ANEMIA?
Common Types Of ANEMIA IRON DEFICIENCY
NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY ANEMIAS
Iron deficiency anemia
Folate deficiency anemia
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
Sickle cell anemia
Rare Types Of ANEMIA IRON DEFICIENCY
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
HOW TO PREVENT IRON DEFICIENCY IN PREGNANCY?
TAKE IRON SUPPLEMENTS DURING PREGNANCY: Take 60mg elemental iron and 250mg folic acid daily for 6 months and additional 3 months in postpartum period.
PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD IMPROVE THEIR DIETRAY HABITS: Eat iron rich food and cook food in iron utensils. Rich source of iron include meat, poultry, fish, egg yolk, dry fruits, green leafy vegetables, and iron fortified cereals.
AVOID FOOD WHICH INHIBIT IRON RESORPTION IN BODY: limit intake of coffee, tea, and other dairy products.
WHICH INVESTIGATIONS ARE CARRIED OUT TO CHECK IRON DEFICIENCY IN BODY?
Red blood cell count.
Urine microscopy and culture.
Transferrin saturation (normal= 30%)
Serum Fe concentration (normal=125mg/dl)
Fe binding capacity (normal=400mg/dl)
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF ANEMIA IN PREGNANCY?
If you are anemic during pregnancy, your doctor will recommend you to start taking an iron supplement or folic acid supplement. Your doctor will also ask you to eat food that is high in iron and folic acid.
You should eat at least three servings a day of food rich in iron, such as: red meat, green vegetables, beans, eggs, nuts. Eat food that is rich in vitamin C because it can help your body absorb more iron.
IS PREGNENCY RELATED ANEMIA PREVENTABLE?
With a diet rich in good nutrition, anemia is preventable. It is necessary to take vitamins and minerals to keep red blood cell level within right range. Supplemental iron, vitamins and good nutrition can prevent pregnancy related anemia.
Adding leafy greens, iron fortified breakfast cereals, beans, nuts in daily routine is very effective.
HOW MUCH FOLIC ACID IS NEEDED DURING PREGNANCY?
In Anemia Iron Deficiency Folic acid intake is vital before and during pregnancy. It helps in the organ development of developing baby. Folic acid intake before pregnancy help prevent birth defect, especially neural tube defect.
Folic acid supplementation decreases the risk of congenital heart diseases. Folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy can also prevent cleft lip and palate. A pregnant woman should take at least 600 mcg of folic acid daily.
WHAT WILL BE THE EFFECT OF ANEMIA ON BABY?
Neural tube defects.
Low birth weight
Low fetal iron stores
Increased risk of perinatal morbidity
Affects cognitive performance
Depresses immune status
CAN AN ANEMIC WOMAN GETS PREGNANT?
If you have iron deficiency it is almost impossible to get pregnant, but if you manage to become pregnant, the lack of oxygen delivery affects the development of baby and there is increase chance of miscarriage and preterm birth.
CAN ANEMIA STOP YOU FROM GETTING PREGNANT?
Iron deficiency can have significant impacts on women fertility. Iron deficiency is common in women because they menstruate every month, and therefore lose iron too. Iron deficiency is linked to infertility, miscarriage, and preterm labor.
Women with inadequate iron stores fail to ovulate. Even if you manage to become pregnant with iron deficiency, lack of oxygen delivery will affect the baby’s development.
FAQ’S (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)
1. Can anemia in pregnancy cause headaches?
As the anemia progresses, excessive tiredness, weakness, and headaches occur. It is because organs don’t get enough blood to function properly.
2. Can anemia in pregnancy cause high blood pressure?
Yes, anemia iron deficiency in pregnancy can cause high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Pregnant women with severe anemia has greater risk of developing hypertension.
3. Can anemia in pregnancy cause vomiting?
Anemic pregnant women can have vomiting frequently. Vomiting is a major symptom of anemia.
4. Can anemia in pregnancy cause nausea?
Nausea is a major symptom of anemia. So pregnant women with anemia can have feeling of nausea frequently5
5. Does iron supplements cause nausea during pregnancy?
Pregnant women need to take iron supplements exactly as her doctor recommends. Because iron supplements can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
6. Which trimester is most important for iron supplements?
Most of the iron is accumulated during the third trimester so third trimester is most important.
7. What is the best time to take iron supplements during pregnancy?
It is best to take iron supplements in the morning on an empty stomach so that your body will completely absorbs iron.
8. How much iron does a pregnant woman need?
A pregnant woman need at least 30 mg of iron every day, which is twice the amount you need normally.
9. What happens if pregnant women don’t take iron supplements?
It weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infection. It can also affect the health of baby.