Anemia During Pregnancy
September 22, 2011
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which there is a deficiency of red blood cells in your body. It occurs when your body isn’t getting an adequate amount of iron for red blood cell production.
Up to 20 percent of all pregnant women develop iron deficiency. The average woman’s diet does not generally supply enough iron for pregnancy.
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily supplement which provides 30 mg of iron. Pregnant women who take iron supplements generally have higher hemoglobin (red blood cell) levels.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anemia?
A mild case of anemia may produce no symptoms at all. If you have a moderate or more severe case of anemia, you will likely be feeling some symptoms such as the following:
- Pale complexion
- Feeling excessively weak or tired
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Heart palpitationsan
- Unusual food cravings such as ice chips, cornstarch, clay or dirt
How is Anemia Treated?
Anemia is treated by supplementing iron, which is prescribed in capsule or tablet form.
In very rare cases, a blood transfusion may be needed. This is generally only needed when the pregnant woman has ongoing blood loss.