Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin (Hb) in the blood, and a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency anemia is an anemia which is caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the body.
During pregnancy, your body’s iron needs increase greatly, especially starting in the second trimester. In India, over 50% of all pregnant women have anemia, the majority of which is due to lack of iron. (WHO/NHD/01.3)
Symptoms may include feeling tired, weakness, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath and/or difficulty exercising, chest pain, cold hands and feet, pale skin, lips and nails and trouble concentrating.
Iron deficiency anemia can be prevented by eating well balanced meals and adding more foods which are high in iron. Also, remember to consume foods rich in vitamin C, as it helps your body’s ability to absorb iron. Treatment includes taking an iron supplement and/or folic acid supplement.
Pregnant and lactating moms: remember to ask your doctor about your hemoglobin levels to keep you and your baby healthy!
For additional information:
Blog post: 10 Super Iron-Rich Foods for Pregnancy & Lactation
Would you like an iron supplement in food form? Check out MamaBix here.