Being pregnant greatly changes your daily needs for nutrients of all kinds as the baby is in formation and getting what they need from your supply. It's not your baby that risks a lack, it's you! And one of the risks of deficiency incurred during this period concerns iron and may cause pregnancy anemia.
Anemia and iron deficiency are quite common during pregnancy. Anemia occurs if your blood does not contain enough hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia can literally deprive your body of the oxygen it needs to survive.
- Normal blood hemoglobin concentrations are between 11.5 and 16g / 100ml for women.
- Concentrations below 10g / 100ml can cause headaches, fatigue and lethargy.
- Concentrations below 8g / 100ml can cause serious health complications.
Symptoms of anemia
Warning: Often, there are no symptoms
- Feeling tired
- Increased shortness of breath during exercise
- Accelerated heart rate
Often, the symptoms appear gradually, so you do not notice a sudden drop in energy.
Anemia is directly linked to a lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid and some chronic diseases. But the most common cause by far, especially in pregnant women, is the lack of iron in the blood.
Iron is an essential mineral substance in the production of hemoglobin. Anemia caused by iron deficiency is called iron deficiency anemia.
- A diet low in iron (diets, vegetarianism)
- Frequent consumption of tea and coffee
- Frequent blood donations (3 or more per year)
- Some drugs like Aspirin and anti-inflammatories
- The iron requirements of the pregnant woman are higher because of the increase in the total number of globules, the needs of the fetus and the placenta and the blood loss at the time of delivery.
- Blood loss is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in women, especially those with heavy menstrual periods.
Our body needs 1 to 4 mg of iron a day and a good diet provides an average of 10 to 20 mg per day, which will be absorbed in a proportion of 5 to 10%, which is enough to meet the needs. During pregnancy, the daily iron requirement increases substantially: 5 mg more per day during the second trimester and 10 mg more during the third trimester.
9 out of 10 women do not consume the recommended amount of iron. In total, 10% of women suffer from anemia.
A simple blood test can diagnose anemia.
Even mild or moderate anemia may be associated with premature labor, low birth weight, and even fetal death.
The iron requirements during the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy are 13, 18 and 23 mg, respectively. Unfortunately, the body only retains a small amount of the iron contained in food, but it is easier to assimilate the iron contained in meat.