Management of Anemia in Pregnancy at Honu Women’s Health
Pregnancy is an exciting and beautiful time in a woman’s life. At Honu Women’s Health, our ultimate goal is to provide a healthy, happy, and exceptional pregnancy and birth experience to every patient. For some women, anemia in pregnancy can stand in the way of what should be an enjoyable time of life by causing stress and worry. Our patients who experience anemia in pregnancy are closely monitored and assured that their health is in the best care possible. We monitor all of our obstetric patients for anemia and know exactly what to do if it appears.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which there is a shortage of healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues in the body. This oxygen deficiency can affect many organs and functions of the body. Anemia in pregnancy is of particular concern because it can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and maternal mortality. Other risks include an increased risk for your baby to develop anemia later in infancy and an increased risk of blood loss for the mother during birth, which can make fighting infection more difficult for your body. Since the fetus is dependent on the mother’s blood, anemia can also lead to poor fetal growth.
Causes of Anemia in Pregnancy
Anemia in pregnancy is caused when your body does not produce more blood to support the growth of your baby. This lack of blood production can be caused by iron or other nutritional deficiencies, such as folate or vitamin B12 deficiencies. These issues can be exacerbated by:
- Having two pregnancies close together
- Being pregnant with more than one baby
- Frequent vomiting due to morning sickness
- Not consuming enough iron in your diet
- Having a heavy pre-pregnancy menstrual flow
Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, can also cause anemia in pregnancy. Pregnancy with thalassemia is considered high-risk for both mother and baby, but can have successful outcomes with close monitoring and care.
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Symptoms of Anemia During Pregnancy
As a patient of Honu Women’s Health, you will be closely monitored for anemia in pregnancy. Some warning signs of anemia in pregnancy that you can watch for include:
- Tiredness or weakness
- Progressive paleness of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble concentrating
If you are pregnant and experience these issues, you could be anemic. If you do experience anemia during pregnancy, do not panic—this is a highly treatable condition.
Prevention and Health Tips
When it comes to anemia in pregnancy, prevention is key. A good nutrient rich diet that is high in iron-rich foods such as lean, red meat and poultry, eggs, dark, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and tofu will help to prevent anemia in pregnancy. There are also iron and vitamin supplements that can be added to your routine that will typically reverse the effects of anemia. Only in severe cases of anemia will a blood transfusion be necessary.
Healthy Prenatal Care at Honu Women’s Health
As an obstetric patient of Honu Women’s Health, it is not your job to worry about anemia in pregnancy—it is ours. We will closely monitor your health throughout your pregnancy journey and take quick action if your blood levels indicate anemia. Our approach typically begins with nutrition counseling to make sure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs through food to reverse anemia. If your anemia is not reversed through a change in your diet, our next approach is usually prescribing iron pills. In the vast majority of cases, these actions will reduce or reverse the symptoms of anemia. Although anemia in pregnancy is easily treatable, it is still a serious health concern that should be closely monitored by a board-certified OB/GYN.
Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about obstetric care services offered at Honu Women’s Health. Every pregnancy journey is unique and beautiful, and we are eager to support you in making sure your pregnancy and birth experience is happy and healthy.