Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

Your iron requirements go up substantially when you’re pregnant. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. During pregnancy, the quantity of blood in your body increases until you have practically 50 percent more than typical. And you need more iron to make more hemoglobin for all that extra blood. You likewise require additional iron for your growing baby and placenta.

Why does pregnancy make me more likely to become anemic?

Unfortunately, a lot of women start pregnancy without enough  of iron to meet their body’s increased needs, especially in the 2nd and third trimesters. If you specify where you no longer have adequate iron to make the hemoglobin you need, you end up being anemic.

Your risk is even higher if you have early morning sickness severe enough to cause frequent vomiting, if you’ve had two or more pregnancies close together, if you’re pregnant with more than one baby, if you have an iron-poor diet, or if your pre-pregnancy menstrual circulation was heavy.trace element iron

This is why the amount of iron you require shoots up during pregnancy from 18 to 27 milligrams (mg) each day. Since it’s hard to obtain sufficient iron through diet alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that pregnant women take an everyday supplement of 30 mg of essential iron as a preventive dosage. Numerous prenatal supplements contain that amount.

Iron shortage is by far the most common cause of anemia in pregnancy, however it’s not the only cause. You could also develop anemia from not getting adequate folic acid or vitamin B12, by losing a lot of blood, or from particular diseases or inherited blood conditions such as sickle cell disease.

The treatment for anemia depends on the cause. Iron supplements are not always the answer.

Anemia during pregnancy: What you have to understand

Anemia during pregnancy can make you feel weak and worn out. Know the risk factors, symptoms and what you can do to prevent it.

If you’re pregnant, you’re at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which you do not have adequate healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues.

Understand why anemia during pregnancy happens and what you can do about it.

What causes anemia during pregnancy?

Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that brings oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, your blood volume broadens to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her whole blood supply– doubling your requirement for iron. If you do not have enough iron  or get adequate iron during pregnancy, you could establish iron deficiency anemia.

How does anemia during pregnancy impact the baby?

Iron shortage anemia during pregnancy may increase the risk of a preterm delivery or a low birth weight baby.

What are the risk factors for anemia during pregnancy?

You are at increased risk of establishing anemia during pregnancy if you:

  • Have two or more carefully spaced pregnancies.
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby.
  • Are vomiting frequently due to early morning illness.
  • Do not consume sufficient iron.
  • Have a heavy pre-pregnancy menstrual circulation.

What are the symptoms of anemia during pregnancy?

If you have a mild case of iron shortage anemia, you might not observe any symptoms. Nevertheless, if you have a moderate or severe case, you might:

  • Be exceedingly worn out and weak.
  • Become progressively pale.
  • Have heart palpitations.
  • Lack breath.
  • Feel lightheaded or lightheaded.
  • Have yearnings to eat nonfood items (pica), such as clay or cornstarch.

Remember that some anemia symptoms can be similar to general pregnancy symptoms.

No matter whether you have symptoms, you’ll have a blood test to screen for anemia during your first prenatal see and generally once again during the course of the pregnancy. In addition, if you’re concerned about your level of fatigue or other symptoms, consult your health care supplier.

How can anemia during pregnancy be prevented and treated?

Prenatal vitamins typically include iron. Taking a prenatal vitamin which contains iron can help prevent and treat anemia during pregnancy. In many cases, your healthcare company may recommend a different iron supplement. During pregnancy, you need 27 milligrams of iron a day.

Great nutrition can also prevent anemia during pregnancy. Dietary sources of iron include lean red meat, poultry and fish. Other choices include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and veggies.

The iron from animal products, such as meat, is most quickly taken in. To enhance the absorption of iron from plant sources and supplements, pair them with a food or drink high in vitamin C– such as orange juice, tomato juice or strawberries. If you take iron supplements with orange juice, avoid the calcium-fortified range. Although calcium is a necessary nutrient during pregnancy, calcium can decrease iron absorption.

How is anemia during pregnancy treated?

If you are taking a prenatal vitamin which contains iron and you are anemic, your health care company may advise screening to determine other possible causes. In many cases, you may have to see a doctor who specializes in treating blood conditions (hematologist). If the cause is iron shortage, extra iron may be suggested. If you have a history of stomach or small bowel surgery or are not able to tolerate oral iron, you might need intravenous iron administration.

Anemia Diet Treatment

Like other shortages, anemia can be stopped or can be treated with a little help from your diet. Altering what you eat and including food that can help produce more red blood cells in your body to stop this issue in its tracks can undoubtedly work to you. Here are some food recommendations you may want to try for your anemia:

  • Iron-rich food like green leafy veggies, liver, dried fruits, beets, bran flakes, brown rice and lentils ought to be infiltrated your everyday or weekly diet. Other iron-rich foods include entire grain breads and pasta, oysters and other shellfish, prunes, and raisins.
  • Other food you can eat to help in the development of red blood cells in your body include fish, lean meat, eggs, milk, and dairy products and dry beans in addition to nuts.
  • To assist prevent a reduction in iron absorption, you need to prevent drinking coffee or tea. Any drinks with caffeine ought to likewise be avoided. Antacids are also known to reduce the absorption of iron in an individual’s body so try to avoid antacids as much as possible when you are attempting to cure iron deficiency anemia.
  • Parsley leaves, apples, white cabbage, and spinach are likewise advantages to have in your meals to help with anemia.

Diet for Anemia

Iron supplements and foods abundant in iron are should in patient suffering from anemia. Heme Iron present in animal sources like beef liver, oysters, shrimp are most suggested.

Iron Rich Foods

Anemic patient diet should be filled with iron content. Sources are turkey, chicken liver which fall under the category of Heme Iron.

Anemia Nutrition

Iron-deficiency anemia diet ought to likewise consist of green leafy vegetables like broccoli, collards, turnip green. Iron abundant supplements can also be taken however they impose risk of abdominal area irritation.


  1. Reply
    Josephine Renee Frost March 6, 2019 at 12:28 am

    What is a normal b-12 level in the body. What level indicates pernicious anemia?
    Thank you!!!

    • Reply
      Reyus Mammadli (Health Care Advisor) March 6, 2019 at 12:52 am

      The normal range for vitamin B-12 in a human blood is between 200 and 900 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

      Lower than 200ng/ml of B-12 may indicate a pernicious anemia. It comes together with following symptoms: weakness, headaches, chest pain, weight loss, etc.

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