Pregnant women who have anemia will experience problems in getting enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues. Even though during pregnancy the body must be able to produce more blood to support the growth of a healthy baby. Anemia in pregnant women can be classified as mild anemia and severe anemia. Basically, both types of anemia in pregnant women must get immediate treatment to keep the mother and the fetus from lack of blood during pregnancy.
Although anemia is considered a common condition experienced by pregnant women, it will have a negative impact on babies and pregnant women if left without proper treatment. This article will provide information about anemia in pregnant women, the impact of anemia on mothers and the fetus and the right solutions for mothers to reduce the risk of anemia.
Anemia and Pregnancy
Health problems that often disturb pregnant women are anemia. Anemia in pregnant women occurs due to an increase in the amount of plasma and erythrocytes. A three-fold increase in plasma in the number of erythrocytes will cause a decrease in the hemoglobin-hematocrit ratio, thereby increasing the risk of physiological anemia during pregnancy. Although during pregnancy physiological anemia is a normal condition.
Pregnant women are detected to have anemia if Hb levels are found less than 11 g / dl in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. In addition, in the second trimester, the Hb level is less than 10.5 gr / dl. Meanwhile, pregnant women who experience anemia because the cause is the production of hemoglobin where there is a nutritional deficiency or production of the hemoglobin chain.
Pregnant women are the largest group experiencing anemia. It was found that 56% had anemia during pregnancy. The causes of anemia in pregnant women include the production of hemoglobin chains due to certain diseases or experiencing impaired hemoglobin production due to a lack of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12.
Under certain conditions pregnant women can experience anemia due to bleeding, parasitic infections, bone marrow failure or certain other diseases. Thus, the causes of anemia in pregnant women are different, so if we draw conclusions from the factors that cause anemia in pregnant women. Anemia can be divided into iron deficiency anemia, hypoplastic anemia, megaloblastic anemia and hemolytic anemia. To find out anemia experienced by pregnant women, laboratory tests are needed to determine the number of erythrocytes, Hb electrophoresis, the number of reticulocytes and serum iron levels. (Also read: Signs of Pregnancy )
Types of Anemia In Pregnancy
The following are types of anemia that occur during pregnancy, including:
1. Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia condition that occurs when the body is deficient in iron so that there is insufficient hemoglobin. Whereas hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen and lungs to the body. In pregnant women who suffer from iron deficiency, oxygen is not bound by blood sufficiently so they experience iron deficiency disorders. This is the most common condition that occurs in pregnant women.
2. Folate Deficiency Anemia
Folic acid is included in the B vitamin group. Even the body needs folate to form new cells and even healthy red blood cells. When pregnant women need additional folate. Lack of folate in pregnant women will cause the body’s condition not to make enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Even folate deficiency can increase the risk of smallpox being born.
3. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia
In the body that forms healthy red blood cells, vitamin B12 is needed. Pregnant women do not only meet their vitamin B12 needs from food, but must get additional. Especially for pregnant women who do not like sources of vitamin B12, namely poultry, milk and eggs, it will be difficult for them to meet their vitamin B12 needs. Consult a doctor to reduce vitamin B12 deficiency in the body of pregnant women.
Impact of Anemia on mother and fetus
Anemia that occurs due to untreated iron deficiency can increase risks such as premature babies or experiencing low birth weight. Meanwhile, pregnant women will experience a large amount of blood loss during childbirth and experience depression after giving birth.
Meanwhile, the risk of anemia in pregnancy caused by folate deficiency can increase the risk of babies born prematurely or experiencing low birth weight and also babies experiencing serious birth defects in the brain and spine.
Likewise, anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12 will have an impact on fetal development. In mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, it will increase the risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects.
So it can be concluded that the impact of anemia on the mother and the fetus can cause miscarriage, bleeding, depression after childbirth, intrapartum and postpartum-related infections. Even very severe anemia marked with a Hb below 4 grams will cause heart problems and even impact on pregnancy and childbirth.
Prevention and Treatment of Anemia in Pregnant Women
Prevention of pregnant women can be done by meeting iron needs. In addition, with a balanced diet it is necessary to become a menu for pregnant women. Foods that are rich in iron include red meat, green leafy vegetables, cereals with the iron content your body needs, nuts and eggs. In addition, support it with good vitamin C to be able to absorb more iron.
Meanwhile, for the treatment of pregnant women who have anemia, it is best to consult a doctor. Take iron and folic acid supplements as needed by the body. Even your doctor or midwife will advise you to add more by consuming foods with more folic acid and iron. Pregnant women who have anemia will be advised to carry out tests within a certain period of time to control the health of the mother and fetus.
Examination of pregnant women to find out whether the mother is anemic or not by doing a doctor’s examination Hemoglobin test which can measure the amount of hemoglobin so that iron proteins can carry oxygen throughout the body. Then performed a hematocrit examination which can measure the percentage of red blood cells in the blood sample.
Thus anemia in pregnant women should not be taken lightly, although basically pregnant women will experience mild or severe anemia. Even if it is traced the types of anemia in pregnant women are different, some are caused by a lack of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid. For each anemia, different treatments and prevention must be carried out and assisted by laboratory tests to determine the type of anemia experienced by pregnant women.