Your pregnancy may be looking so well for weeks now. You have so sure that you and your baby will continue to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. After all, you have been eating a healthy diet and have taken what you think is the best iron supplement for pregnancy. You also prefer red meat than veggies.
Then the strangest news comes in. You get the diagnosis: pregnancy anemia So, your pregnancy is going along swimmingly well when all of a sudden you get the diagnosis: pregnancy anemia. You were so confused and don’t know what could have happened. You are just all so sure that you have been doing the things that you think will provide the best pregnancy conditions for you and your baby.
There really is no reason to worry. This is a common concern for many other pregnant women, even those who prefer natural for their health. Anemia, along with other health issues like acne, constipation, and heartburn, urinary tract infection, hypertension, infection, and several health conditions are rather common complaints. Fortunately, there are a huge variety of natural solutions that you can use to restore to allow yourself and your baby get the most from your pregnancy as well as provide an adequate amount of this essential mineral to your diet.
What is pregnancy related anemia?
This health condition results when the body does not have sufficient healthy red blood cells. When this happens, oxygen that should be moved from the lungs to the body’s tissues (source) might take a long time to be transferred. Experts indicate that there are about 400 types of anemia. However, the majority of anemia that is reported during pregnancy is caused by low iron. Coming in second is folate deficiency.
Why do pregnant women become anemic during pregnancy?
Amount half of the population of pregnant women have anemia, so there is a great chance that you will also be having this concern. It is possible that even if you have never experienced being anemic before and you do have a healthy diet, you may still experience being anemic at some point in your pregnancy.
One of the main reasons for having this condition during pregnancy is an increased blood volume that happens during pregnancy. Experts explain that while you are pregnant, you may have 25-40% more fluid flowing through your veins. Your body pumps in more blood to the baby to provide the fetus for proper development. As such, your system will need more red blood cells and more nutrients (iron) to make this process possible.
Another reason for having this condition during pregnancy has to do with bodily fluid retention. This can also increase tremendously, resulting in a more diluted red blood cell count. Pregnant women are reported to have a “total body water increase from 6.5L to 8.5L.” If you think and feel that you are already about to suffer from this condition even during the early part of your pregnancy, this might just be the reason for it.
For pregnant women who prefer to eat plant and plant-based foods, there is a greater risk of developing this condition than those who would rather have red meat. This is due to the fact that lots of animal protein have higher iron content. Red meat, liver, as well as seafood, are rich sources of iron. However, there are many pregnant women who have aversions to animal meat during their pregnancy.
You will also be at a higher risk for developing anemia during pregnancy if you are carrying more than one fetus or are having multiples. This can also be true if your last pregnancy was spaced closely to your present pregnancy. Morning sickness can also put you at a greater risk of having this condition.
If you are prone to having heavy periods, then you have a higher tendency to be anemic as well. Other conditions that may cause heavy bleeding such as polyps, ulcers, or even donating blood also consumes much of the red blood cells in your body.
What are the signs of anemia during pregnancy?
You will know that you are anemic if you see these indicators. Although you may have most or all of them, you may still not be certain whether the indicators are indeed symptoms of anemia. As mentioned earlier, other common pregnancy-related conditions may also cause this condition. You will need to consult with your doctor if you are indeed anemic or manifesting other health concerns such as blood pooling in the feet, hormonal changes, or even a lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Dark under-eye circles
- Excessive fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Pale skin, lips, and nails
- Cold hands and feet
- Feeling exhausted
Where do you get the right type of iron?
Diet plays a significant role in maintaining an adequate level of iron, folate, and B 12 in the body. These nutrients are all essential in preventing and reversing anemia. However, not everyone knows which food-sources should be consumed to provide the necessary amount of iron in the blood.
There are two different types of this mineral– heme and non-heme. Non-heme type of iron is found in plants and plant-based foods like spinach, lentils, and beans. These food sources are also used to fortify products with iron.
The problem, however, is that non-heme iron is not readily absorbed by the body. To supplement the lack of iron absorption in the body, many pregnant women would turn to iron pills available in local stores. Most of these iron supplements contain ferrous sulfate, a non-heme and difficult and also difficult for the body to digest. Hence, the consumption of this type of iron supplement may cause severe nausea.
Foods like spinach, berries, fruit, nuts, legumes, cereals, and broccoli contain polyphenols, which inhibit iron absorption. Phytates can also prevent iron absorption. It can be found in grains and beans. Tea contains tannins which can also decrease iron absorption by up to 50%.
Foods rich in calcium are also not a good thing to have to get more iron for the body to use. Calcium is said to decrease iron absorption (heme and nonheme iron) by 50-60%.
So, what are the natural remedies for pregnancy anemia that you need to consider?
Here’s a list of foods that you may want to eat more if you are diagnosed of being anemic.
- Red meat
- Liver pills and shots
- Beef and chicken liver
- Terrasoul Camu Camu powder Vitamin C. Vitamin C is noted to increase iron absorption from non-heme plant and plant-based food sources.
Iron Supplementation for Pregnancy
You may also consult your doctor for the best iron supplement for pregnancy. Your primary health provider will be your best bet to provide the right supplement you will need for your pregnancy.
Keeping yourself is your primary responsibility during pregnancy. This will also give the assurance that your baby is kept healthy inside your tummy. If you are seeing signs of anemia even while ensuring that you are following the right diet and lifestyle, consult with your doctor right away. Stay healthy and have a healthy pregnancy.