Anemia in pregnancy, what should you know?

The pregnancy It is a stage as wonderful as it is delicate. Managing a life is not easy and therefore we must pay attention to the possible problems that may arise in order to avoid them or make them appear, do not have serious consequences. It is the case of anemia, one of the most frequent complications during this time and is due to a decrease in iron below normal values.

As explained by the Institute of Maternal Fetal Medicine of Barcelona, iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. The developing baby receives this mineral through the umbilical cord, for this reason the anemia it must be controlled to ensure the baby's well-being.


Hemoglobin in pregnancy

This entity also explains that during pregnancy, the amount of blood in a woman's body increases up to 50% more than normal. For this reason, a greater amount of iron is necessary in order to produce more hemoglobin for all that extra blood that will be delivered to the baby and the placenta. For this reason, the presence of anemia and lack of iron in the bloodstream can have serious consequences.

Among the most common causes of anemia is the lack of iron habitual in the mother. It can also develop if you do not take the recommended amount of folic acid or vitamin B12, or if the woman loses a lot of blood. This problem is related at the same time to other diseases or disorders of the hereditary bloodstream, such as sickle cell or sickle cell anemia.


The Institute of Maternal Fetal Medicine of Barcelona also explains that it is important to take into account that sometimes the real anemia is somewhat lower than what the tests performed during pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, the amount of fluid in the blood increases and a phenomenon known as hemodilution occurs, which means that although the amount of iron and hemoglobin appears normal, it seems that they are somewhat low in the analyzes; It is because they are diluted in a greater amount of liquids.

Diagnosis and treatment

Among the symptoms more common of the anemia in the pregnancy are the fatigue, fatigue, pallor and tachycardia in the woman. This is due to the lower number of red blood cells that carry oxygen through the blood. It is also possible that the pregnant woman does not show any indication of this problem, especially if the loss of this mineral is slight.


The best way to detect this problem is that the gynecologist perform a blood test at the first prenatal visit. Although the results are negative, it is likely that during pregnancy may appear. For this reason it is recommended to repeat these tests a posteriori to control the status of the pregnant woman.

The treatment goes through the prescription, by a specialist, of an iron supplement of 60 to 120 mg per day or more. With this contribution is intended to absorb as much of this mineral as possible. The usual thing is to take it in the form of tablets on an empty stomach, and accompany them with water or orange juice (vitamin C helps absorption). Milk is not recommended because calcium alters absorption

It is also recommended to include in the diet rich foods in iron. Meats like poultry and seafood are good options for this purpose. Other alternatives are legumes, raisins, dates, green leafy vegetables, wholemeal breads and cereals fortified with this mineral. It is important to keep in mind that the body absorbs iron better from animal sources (heme iron).

Damián Montero

Video: Pregnancy FAQs : How to Get Pregnant With Anemia


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