PREGNANCY AND ITS COMPLICATIONS
What are the most common pregnancy and labour complications?
The normal symptoms of pregnancy and the symptoms of complications are sometimes hard to distinguish.
Although many problems are mild and don’t progress, you should always contact your doctor if you have any concerns during your pregnancy. Most pregnancy complications are manageable with prompt treatment. These are the most common complications women experience during pregnancy:
High blood pressure, Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia, Preterm labour, Miscarriage, Anemia , Infections.
ANEMIA IN PREGNANCY
During pregnancy, some women become anemic, which means they have too few red blood cells in their body. This is usually managed without any harm to mother or baby.
What are Red Blood cells?
- Red blood cells are cells in your blood.
- Their main role is to carry oxygen from your heart to the rest of your body – your brain, your muscles, your skin, your kidneys and all else.
- Red blood cells are produced in bone marrow.
- They contain a protein known as hemoglobin, which is vital for carrying oxygen.
- We need enough Iron, Vitamin B12 and Folate to produce all the hemoglobin we need.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is the condition which occurs when there are not enough red blood cells in the blood.
This leads to the person with anemia having too little oxygen going to their brain, muscles and elsewhere.
- A person with mild anemia will feel a little tired.
- A person with severe anemia will feel like they are constantly out of breath and will feel weak, dizzy, and irritable and find it hard to concentrate. Their heart will be racing.
Many pregnant women usually develop mild anemia.
Why do pregnant women become Anemic?
The main reason is that the woman’s body changes during pregnancy to look after the growing child.
- One of change is that women make more blood when they become pregnant.
- The average woman will have about 5liters of blood when not pregnant, but will have 7 to 8liters of blood in her body as she gets near term.
Making the extra blood cells requires plenty of iron, vitamin B12 and folate to make all the extra hemoglobin needed.
Unfortunately, iron is hard to absorb, which makes hemoglobin hard to make. So many women become anemic during pregnancy unless they take iron supplements.
What are the tests for Anemia?
You would usually have a blood count around the time you first see a doctor about your pregnancy.
This blood count shows whether or not there is enough hemoglobin and enough blood cells. Any abnormality in these tests will guide your doctor towards other tests such as:
- Iron levels
- Vitamin B12 and Folate levels
- Genetic tests for inherited disorders such as Thalassaemia.
What are the risks if a pregnant woman is Anemic?
If a woman becomes anemic while pregnant, it will make her even more tired than expected.
If the Anemia is severe, there could be a reduced amount of amniotic fluid around baby. There is also an increased chance of miscarriage, the baby being delivered too early or having a low birth weight. Babies born from anemic mothers may also be anemic.
If a woman is anemic throughout pregnancy and loses a lot of blood during the birth, she may need to have a blood transfusion around the time of the birth.
How can anemia in pregnancy be avoided?
There are three good ways to avoid becoming anemic while pregnant. They are:
- Start your pregnancy in good health
- Eat well while pregnant
- Take supplements.
If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, you should see your doctor and get a check-up. At this time, you will get advice about anemia and other conditions, and particularly about taking folate supplements.
Wishing you a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy!
Be aware. Be Healthy!
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Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Reference link :
Sources: Department of Health (Folate facts).Department of Health, South Australia (Anaemia and pregnancy) .Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria (Food and Nutrition in Pregnancy).