Anemia and Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, she really IS “eating for two”. Many people use this phrase in a glib and sardonic manner, to explain and joke about the fact that pregnant women tend to have a much higher appetite than before, but the simple truth of the matter is that the pregnant woman must be careful not only with the quantity of food that she consumes, but the quality of it as well.

During pregnancy, a woman is at a much higher risk of developing anemia, which is a blood disorder whereby the amount of oxygen within the blood cells is reduced and impaired. Either this will take the guise of a higher number of red blood cells in the body, or it will entail a reduction in the amount of haemoglobin (which itself is the agent used to transport oxygen in the red blood cells). However it manifests itself, the end result is the same: there is not enough oxygen being transported around the body to keep the body safe and well.

Why is a pregnant woman more at risk of developing anemia?

When a woman is pregnant she will be retain larger volumes of fluid in her body which in turn, will increase the plasma content in the blood and so this will mean that the amount of oxygen that can be carried by the blood cells is impaired.

The unborn fetus will also require iron to be transferred to it by means of the placenta, and so this means that if the mother is not careful with consuming more iron in her diet during the pregnancy, then it will be her that suffers the effects of the shortfall.

Why is anemia during pregnancy dangerous?

During the gestation period, the embryo will be undergoing the process of growth and so this means that its cells are constantly in a state of flux. Therefore,  if anemia arises, then the fetus maybe born stillborn, or may suffer from a number of birth defects that result in severe disability of a physical and/or mental nature. The child maybe born underweight, which is also a concern.

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