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Iron & Folate Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy – Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

A pregnant woman, as well as her growing baby and developing placenta, need extra iron to support a rapidly increasing blood supply. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to body tissues via the red blood cells. Low amount of red blood cells in the body your body does not get oxygen from blood. It is the most general problem faced during pregnancy in women. It can cause severe complexities in the baby if it is not diagnosed and treated properly.
The fetus is dependent on the mother’s blood and anemia may be associated with poor fetal growth, preterm birth, and low birth weight. The volume of blood increases in pregnant women by almost 50% and this may result in a drop in the percentage of red blood cells which leads to anemia.

Symptoms of Anemia

– Tiredness.
– Dull.
– Dizzy.
– Rapid heartbeat.
– Paleness.
– Breathlessness.
– Headache
– Nausea
– Forgetfulness
– Abdominal pain
– Trouble in concentrating.
– Rapid pulse.

Causes of Iron Deficiency and Folate Deficiency

– Alcohol abuse.
– Poor diets.
– Impaired absorption because of intestinal dysfunction.
– Prolonged drug therapy.
– Loss of blood.
– Diet and digestion.

Types of Anemia in pregnant women

Iron Deficiency Anemia : The baby starts using the iron that is stored in mother’s body for his/her own growth. If the mother has sufficient iron then she can meet the increased demand but if she has less iron that is necessary to produce red blood cells then she will develop anemia. It can also be caused because of poor diet, loss of blood in pregnancy and excessive use of antacids.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency : Vitamin B12 to synthesize proteins and to form red blood cells. Including animal foods in the diet such as milk, cheese, yogurt meats, eggs, and poultry can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. Strict vegans may receive supplemental vitamin B12 by injection during pregnancy.
Folate Deficiency : It is a B-vitamin that works with iron to help with cell growth. Both folate and iron are essential for red cell production and during pregnancy there is an increased need to supply both the mother and the developing infant(s). Folic acid may help reduce the risk of having a baby with certain birth defects of the brain and spinal cord if taken before conception and in early pregnancy.

Risk From Anemia in Pregnant Women

– Twin or multiple pregnancy.
– Results in pre-term delivery, retarded physical growth of the baby and cause low birth weight.
– Tired and fatigued.
– It can cause serious defects in the brain and spinal cord of the baby.

Treatment of Anemia

– Iron deficiency anemia is treated with iron tablets.
– Pregnant women fail to ingest or absorb adequate amount of iron and may need to be treated with intra-muscular iron injections.
– Folic acid deficiency anemia is treated with folate tablets.
– Vitamin C intake should be increased to help in better absorption of iron.
– Good sources of iron include meat, green vegetables, dried fruit, pulses, such as chick peas and lentils, foods that are fortified with iron, such as some breakfast cereals and bread.

NOTE: Iron supplements may cause nausea and cause stools to become dark greenish or black in color. Constipation may also occur with iron supplements.

3 comments to Iron & Folate Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy – Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

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  • lisa

    i have been told i have very low b12, iron and folate levels in my blood and i am nearly severn months pregnant with singleton pregnancy. any ideas what caused all three anaemias please?

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