Anemia is a serious medical condition in which there is lack of enough Red Blood Cells to carry oxygen to tissues in your body. Anemia in its early stages in pregnant women, if not treated properly can have serious health effects on both Mother and Child. Mild Anemia is a common condition in pregnant women, but it should be treated in a timely manner or it can lead to pre-mature birth, low birth weight for the baby and even maternal mortality.  According to the Global Nutrition Report 2017, India is placed at the bottom of the table for maximum cases of Anemia in women. More than 51% of women of reproductive age in India suffer from this condition. The common factors that have led to the rise of this condition are illiteracy, under-nutrition, low awareness, and worm infestation. Also, hand hygiene is important.

Why are pregnant women prone to Anemia?
During pregnancy the body produces more blood for the development of the baby. This production of blood creates a need for additional iron and other nutrients in the mother’s body. Therefore, if one does not receive these nutrients in sufficient amounts, the body will not be able to produce additional blood.

Types of Anemia during Pregnancy: –

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia – This is the most common type of Anemia found in Pregnant women. Iron found in the red blood cells helps carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Therefore, when there is less iron produced the body gets exhausted easily and is prone to infections.
  • Folate Deficiency Anemia – Lack of Folate or Folic acid in diet can lead to reduced number of Red Blood Cells in the body that leads to this deficiency. The common symptoms for this type of Anemia are Tiredness, Lack of Energy, Muscle weakness, depression, swelling of tongue, shortness of breath.

How does one do to alleviate Anemia?
Anemia during pregnancy can be easily treated by adding iron and vitamin rich foods to your daily diet. Foods like red meat, eggs, dark leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, Lentils and nuts are a rich source of iron. Pregnant women are also advised to take Iron supplements.  Vitamin C rich foods are also beneficial for pregnant women to avoid this condition, doctors also advise Pre-natal vitamins which contain iron and folic acid.

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