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Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy


Discussions on "Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy" in "Preggers Health & Nutrition" forum.


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    Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy

    Anaemia or iron deficiency occurs when the red blood cells don't have enough iron (or haemoglobin) to carry oxygen around the body. The most common signs of anaemia in pregnancy are breathlessness and tiredness.
    How much iron do I need during pregnancy?


    Before you conceived, you needed about 15 milligrams (mg) of iron a day. That's quite a lot. Many of us probably don't actually get the recommended daily amount. During pregnancy, you need extra iron (almost double at about 30 mg a day) to help keep you and your baby healthy. If you don't have enough iron to fuel haemoglobin production for both of you, you may develop iron-deficiency anaemia.

    How will I know if I'm anaemic?

    At your first antenatal visit, your doctor will take a blood sample to check whether your haemoglobin levels are satisfactory. It's normal for the levels to drop a little during pregnancy because there's far more fluid in your blood to dilute the red blood cells.

    WHO estimates indicate that nearly 35-75 per cent of pregnant women in India are anaemic. Also, diseases like malaria and hookworm -- that are common in our country -- can make anaemia worse. You may, therefore, need iron supplements from early pregnancy. Some women have high iron levels in early pregnancy, and are advised to take supplements in the second or third trimesters. Your doctor will recommend if, and when, you need to take an iron supplement.


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    Re: Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy

    What are the symptoms?

    You may not be aware that you have become anaemic, although fatigue is a common sign. Pale skin, brittle nails, breathlessness and dizziness, unusual thirst and even unusual food cravings (commonly known as pica) could be due to anaemia. However, these symptoms are experienced by many pregnant women who are not anaemic, which is why a blood test is the best indicator of anaemia.

    How is anaemia treated?

    If you are only slightly anaemic, improving your diet can help. Your doctor will discuss your diet with you to make sure that you are eating enough of the right kinds of food. If your iron levels are low, you doctor will prescribe iron supplements.

    Iron supplements can cause constipation, so it's important to have plenty of fibre in your diet while you're taking them. You can increase the fibre content in your diet by including raw salads containing cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, radish, onions and carrots. Add a dash of lemon to enhance the taste. Also, the vitamin C in lemon will aid in better absorption of iron. More helpful hints in our fibre enriched meal plan.

    If you find constipation becomes a serious problem for you, ask your doctor to prescribe you another brand -- there are plenty to choose from.



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    Re: Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy

    Are some women more likely to become anaemic during pregnancy?

    Women who have a diet that is low in iron are likely to become anaemic. So are women who have serious morning sickness to the extent that they are vomiting very frequently -- this is known as hyperemesis. You're also more likely to have iron deficiency anaemia if you've had two or more pregnancies close together, if you're carrying more than one baby, or if you had heavy periods before you became pregnant.

    Could my being anaemic affect my baby's health?

    As long as anaemia is picked up and treated in pregnancy your baby will not be affected. Your baby makes the heaviest demands on your iron supplies in the middle of pregnancy, so this is the time to take extra care of yourself. Many doctors feel that iron-deficiency anaemia can result in pre-term delivery and a low birth weight baby. Some studies have also shown that good iron levels in the mother result in betterApgar scores of the baby with a lower risk of lack of oxygen at birth.

    What can I include in my diet to make sure I have enough iron?

    Our Obstetrician, Dr Charulata advises that consuming food rich in iron alone may not be a solution to improve haemoglobin levels. However, a combination of iron and protein - in fact, animal protein works most effectively - is essential to increase the iron reserves in your body. So try to include lean red meat, chicken and fish in your diet. Try these protein enriched non-vegetarian recipes.

    If you are a vegetarian, try consuming dal along with green leafy vegetables like spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), mustard (sarson/kadugu/ aavalu), bathua (thoyah keerai), coriander (dhania) and mint (pudina).

    Soya protein, wholemeal bread and flour, iron-fortified cereals, potatoes, raisins, prunes and pulses are all rich in iron. Fruits rich in iron include pomegranates, apricots, (especially when dried or semi dried), plums, bananas, and black grapes.

    Vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron in your diet, so drinking plenty of orange juice will also help prevent you from becoming anaemic. Tea, coffee, colas and other fizzy drinks, make it difficult for your body to absorb iron, so it's best to cut down on these drinks or avoid them altogether.

    Interesting ways to include iron in your diet:

    • Snack on a handful of raw coconut slices, nuts, raisins, and dates.
    • Popular winter snacks in the northern regions, such as a combination of groundnuts and jaggery, revdi (sesame seeds and jaggery) are all great sources of iron.
    Amla murabba or juice is rich in vitamin C as well as iron.
    • Cook food in iron utensils.
    • Add methi or dhania leaves to dals and vegetable preparations to enhance their taste as well as increase their nutrient value.
    • Why not try our iron enriched recipes.

    How do I take my iron supplements?

    Iron supplements are best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach, but this can be hard to tolerate in pregnancy. Try taking the supplements about an hour before you eat. Remember not to take iron supplements at the same time as calcium supplements or anta-acids -- as they lower the absorption of iron in the body.

    Are there any alternate remedies for iron deficiency anaemia?

    Our Homeopath, Dr Khurana suggests that mild anaemia can be overcome with a combination of iron-rich diet and certain homeopathic remedies, such as Ferrum phosphoricum and Ferrum metallicum. However, she reiterates that the exact dosage and potency of medication is very specific to each individual and depends on their body type and physical condition as well. So it is best to approach a practising homeopath if you are looking at homeopathy as an alternate remedy for treating mild iron deficiency anaemia.





  4. #4
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    Re: Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy

    Are some women more likely to become anaemic during pregnancy?

    Women who have a diet that is low in iron are likely to become anaemic. So are women who have serious morning sickness to the extent that they are vomiting very frequently -- this is known as hyperemesis. You're also more likely to have iron deficiency anaemia if you've had two or more pregnancies close together, if you're carrying more than one baby, or if you had heavy periods before you became pregnant.

    Could my being anaemic affect my baby's health?

    As long as anaemia is picked up and treated in pregnancy your baby will not be affected. Your baby makes the heaviest demands on your iron supplies in the middle of pregnancy, so this is the time to take extra care of yourself. Many doctors feel that iron-deficiency anaemia can result in pre-term delivery and a low birth weight baby. Some studies have also shown that good iron levels in the mother result in betterApgar scores of the baby with a lower risk of lack of oxygen at birth.

    What can I include in my diet to make sure I have enough iron?

    Our Obstetrician, Dr Charulata advises that consuming food rich in iron alone may not be a solution to improve haemoglobin levels. However, a combination of iron and protein - in fact, animal protein works most effectively - is essential to increase the iron reserves in your body. So try to include lean red meat, chicken and fish in your diet. Try these protein enriched non-vegetarian recipes.

    If you are a vegetarian, try consuming dal along with green leafy vegetables like spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), mustard (sarson/kadugu/ aavalu), bathua (thoyah keerai), coriander (dhania) and mint (pudina).

    Soya protein, wholemeal bread and flour, iron-fortified cereals, potatoes, raisins, prunes and pulses are all rich in iron. Fruits rich in iron include pomegranates, apricots, (especially when dried or semi dried), plums, bananas, and black grapes.

    Vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron in your diet, so drinking plenty of orange juice will also help prevent you from becoming anaemic. Tea, coffee, colas and other fizzy drinks, make it difficult for your body to absorb iron, so it's best to cut down on these drinks or avoid them altogether.

    Interesting ways to include iron in your diet:

    • Snack on a handful of raw coconut slices, nuts, raisins, and dates.
    • Popular winter snacks in the northern regions, such as a combination of groundnuts and jaggery, revdi (sesame seeds and jaggery) are all great sources of iron.
    Amla murabba or juice is rich in vitamin C as well as iron.
    • Cook food in iron utensils.
    • Add methi or dhania leaves to dals and vegetable preparations to enhance their taste as well as increase their nutrient value.
    • Why not try our iron enriched recipes.

    How do I take my iron supplements?

    Iron supplements are best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach, but this can be hard to tolerate in pregnancy. Try taking the supplements about an hour before you eat. Remember not to take iron supplements at the same time as calcium supplements or anta-acids -- as they lower the absorption of iron in the body.

    Are there any alternate remedies for iron deficiency anaemia?

    Our Homeopath, Dr Khurana suggests that mild anaemia can be overcome with a combination of iron-rich diet and certain homeopathic remedies, such as Ferrum phosphoricum and Ferrum metallicum. However, she reiterates that the exact dosage and potency of medication is very specific to each individual and depends on their body type and physical condition as well. So it is best to approach a practising homeopath if you are looking at homeopathy as an alternate remedy for treating mild iron deficiency anaemia.


    Source: Babycenter india



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  5. #5
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    Re: Anemia(Iron Deficiency) during Pregnancy

    A very good Informative thread for future mothers.....thanks.


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