Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy

Anaemia during pregnancy puts pregnant moms at risk. Anaemia affects about 59% of pregnant women in India. Although moderate anaemia is common during pregnancy, severe anaemia can have major consequences like preterm delivery and health issues. Anaemia during pregnancy has an effect on both the mother and the unborn child. Low iron levels contribute to the baby's low birth weight. Medication and a nutrition-based diet can readily prevent this condition; nevertheless, if neglected or unattended, it can be a nightmare that could result in the mother's or the baby's death.

The most frequent is iron deficiency anaemia, which we see on a daily basis. There are additional types of anaemia where the mother is unable to increase her red blood cell (RBC) count or haemoglobin levels, such as B-12 deficiency, folate insufficiency, and hemoglobinopathy. A complete suppression of the bone marrow during pregnancy makes aplastic anaemia unusual.

What Could Make a Pregnant Woman Anaemic?

Low iron during pregnancy can occur for a variety of reasons. Although iron insufficiency is a problem for all expecting moms, some women are more at risk than others due to specific risk factors.
  • Several pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Prolonged menstruation
  • Vegan or vegetarian
  • Less iron consumption
  • Frequent vomiting incidence
  • Two concomitant pregnancies

Treatment and Symptoms

The paleness of the skin, tongue, nails, eyes is the most common sign. The majority of women experience weariness, giddiness, severe backaches, swollen feet, and breathing difficulties (laboured breathing). Anaemia is quite simple to diagnose. Blood tests (haemoglobin count) are performed as part of routine check-ups/obstetric practise at hospitals and primary health centres to detect anaemia. Depending on the severity of the anaemia and the length of the pregnancy, further medication is given. The majority of women receive iron supplements up until birth. An intravenous kind of iron supplement is advised in circumstances where the mother cannot tolerate oral supplements or the anaemia is severe. Some people can also need blood transfusions.

How can anaemia be prevented?

Even though anaemia appears to be a straightforward issue, this is only true if it is addressed quickly. By taking the appropriate actions about meals and nutrition, you can finish half of the treatment by raising awareness. Pregnant women's overall health and iron supplementation can be improved with a rich nutrition-based diet that is high in iron. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beets, citrus fruits, eggs, juices, and organ meats like liver, heart, and kidney should all be consumed by all women. People should be informed about the dangers of anaemia as well as the value of taking supplements and maintaining a balanced diet. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, all pregnant moms should receive appropriate counselling at an early stage of their pregnancy.

Dr. Reenu Jain
Associate Director
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
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