Anemia is one of the most common hematological disorders which occur during pregnancy. In the developing world anemia rates can be between 40 and 80% during pregnancy. Estimates suggest that about four percent of maternal deaths during pregnancy are attributed to anemia. Anemia during pregnancy can be easily managed using dietary modifications and iron supplements.
Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common types of anemia observed during pregnancy. This condition can be easily managed using iron supplements. However, inappropriate dietary practices and frequent pregnancies are some of the common causes associated with anemia during pregnancy.
Further anemia increases the risk of morbidity and mortality in the pregnant female. Simple lifestyle modification and dietary practices can help in management of anemia efficiently and promptly.
Risk Factors For Anemia In Pregnancy
The prevalence of anemia during pregnancy is very high especially in the developing world which is attributed to frequent pregnancies, early marriage and getting pregnant before the age of eighteen years, dietary inadequacies, etc. Though anemia is easily manageable, it poises great risk to the health of the mother and the fetus,
- Excessive fatigue and weakness during pregnancy.
- Increased risk of infections and chronic illness during pregnancy.
- High risk of infections after delivery.
- Increased risk of developing post delivery depression.
- Higher risk of having a preterm birth.
- Higher risk of still birth or infant death.
- Inability to administer drugs or medications meant for reducing labor pain.
Symptoms Of Anemia In Pregnancy
As per the WHO, a female with a hemoglobin concentration of less than 11 gram% is considered to be normal and acceptable. Any concentration of less than the prescribed value is rated as anemia. The common symptoms associated with anemia during pregnancy include,
- Generalized weakness and fatigue. A constant feeling of tiredness with inability to perform routine work is an indicative sign.
- Headache with lightheadedness is another common symptom associated with anemia.
- Shortness of breath after slightest exertion.
- Irregular and rapid heartbeats.
- Inability to concentrate and impaired cognitive functions.
- Insomnia or other forms of sleep disorders are also associated with anemia during pregnancy.
- Occasionally the female may complain of dizziness with chest pains.
- With a weakened immune system the female is prone to infections.
Natural Treatment For Iron Deficiency Anemia
The treatment of anemia during pregnancy comprises of ensuring an adequate intake of iron, since iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia during pregnancy. Here are some simple tips for effective management of anemia during pregnancy,
- Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cabbages, etc. These foods are loaded with iron and other essential minerals and nutrients.
- Alternatively increase the intake of iron and folic acid supplements. However, iron supplements are associated with constipation. Hence in order to avert the side effects like constipation increase the intake of dietary fiber in your diet.
- Limit the intake of caffeine and nicotine. These components tend to bind easily with iron in the food and reduce the bio-availability of the mineral for absorption by the intestine.
- Homeopathic drugs like Ferrum Metallicum or Ferum Phos are considered beneficial in improving the hemoglobin concentration of the blood. These homeopathic drugs have to be taken in potency and dosage as prescribed by the homeopathic consultant for best results.
- Increase the intake of proteins in the diet. Regular consumption of eggs, lean meat, chicken, soy, pulses and legumes is considered beneficial.