According to the recent standard laid down by ‘WHO’, anemia is present when the Hemoglobin (Hb) concentration in the peripheral blood is 10 gm/dl or less.
Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) continues to be major public health problem in India. It is estimated that about 20% of maternal deaths are directly related to anemia and another 50% of maternal deaths are associated with it.
When anemia becomes severe in pregnancy, there could be a reduced amount of amniotic fluid around baby. There is also an increased chance of miscarriage, the baby being delivered too early or having a low birth weight. Babies born from anemic mothers may also be anemic.
If a woman is anemic throughout pregnancy and loses a lot of blood during the birth, she may need to have a blood transfusion around the time of the birth.
Causes of Anemia during pregnancy
One of the main causes for anemia during pregnancy has to do with increased blood volume, when we may have 25-40% more fluid running through our veins. Your body is rushing blood to the baby to provide necessary nutrients. This process requires more red blood cells and more nutrients, namely iron, to support their development.
Another reason for anemia during pregnancy relates to bodily fluids, which also increase significantly and further dilutes red blood cell count.
How balanced diet helps?
Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining iron, folate, and B12 levels, all of which are necessary for preventing and reversing anemia. Eating plenty of citrus fruit, and avoiding tea and coffee with or soon after meals, may help you absorb the iron in your food, and may help prevent anemia.
Daily oral iron and folic acid supplementation with 30 mg to 60 mg of elemental iron and 400 μg folic acid is recommended for pregnant women to prevent maternal anemia and its related complications like low birth weight and preterm birth.
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