During pregnancy, both mother and fetus require increased blood flow. It is vitally important to maintain adequate hemoglobin levels, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, because it is the way to compensate for the requirements of the developing fetus.
If pregnancy begins with low hemoglobin levels, the mother runs the risk of anemia during this period. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , this condition occurs in 40% of pregnant women.
At FastlyHeal, you will learn about the symptoms, causes, risks, and low hemoglobin treatment in pregnancy.
Table of Contents
What is low hemoglobin during pregnancy?
Hemoglobin is a protein that is part of the blood. It is responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues; When its levels are low in the blood, there is talk of the existence of anemia, which can also occur during pregnancy.
During this state, blood flow increases physiologically to meet the metabolic needs of both the mother and the fetus. This process is known as hemodilution in pregnancy and is characterized by a decrease in red blood cells and, consequently, hemoglobin.
Symptoms of low hemoglobin in pregnancy
When the decrease in hemoglobin levels is mild, the symptoms are not evident. However, in most cases, the symptoms are notorious. It is there where it is possible to show:
- Weakness: this can be confused with the fatigue felt by the pregnant woman as her condition progresses.
- Accentuated skin paleness.
- Hair loss.
- Brittle and brittle nails very quickly.
- Difficulty breathing.
- General weakness
- Loss of concentration
Not all women present these symptoms in this gestational stage. Some of them tend to lead to confusion regarding the diagnosis of low hemoglobin. Some of them are tiredness, weakness, and dizziness.
Low hemoglobin in pregnancy: causes
Pregnancy tends to take most women by surprise. They do not have sufficient iron reserves to face this process, especially in the second and third trimesters when it tends to decrease. You must remember that if you have had pregnancies or are in a multiple one, it is necessary to carry out a diet rich in iron.
Several causes give rise to the appearance of anemia in pregnancy or low hemoglobin. In case of anemia usually occurs during the second trimester, it should be noted that no treatment is needed to control it.
Among the causes that contribute to the decrease in hemoglobin levels in the blood, the following can be mentioned:
- Decrease in iron levels in the blood. According to WHO (World Health Organization), this results in the appearance of a ferropénica polemic: according to WHO (World Health Organization) is the most common, occurring in 90% of pregnant women.
- Deficient levels of folic acid and vitamin B12, known as a megaloblástica polemic: deficiency of folic acid in the mother during pregnancy can lead to congenital disabilities that endanger the baby, such as spina bifida.
- Rh problems, which is known as fetal-maternal blood incompatibility.
- The tissue responsible for producing red blood cells may disappear, which is known as bone marrow suppression.
Another cause that can give rise to low hemoglobin during pregnancy is chronic blood loss or the presence of some cancer.
Low hemoglobin in pregnancy: risk factors
Women during pregnancy are at high risk of suffering from this disorder. The most prone are:
- Those who have had more than one pregnancy, especially if it is less than two years.
- Those with a low intake of iron in the daily diet or digestive problems prevent its absorption.
- Women with heavy menstrual cycles before pregnancy.
- Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs): they can cause heavy menstruation in some women.
- Genetic alterations alter the production of folic acid.
- The parasites in the intestine can cause microbleeds at the intestinal level.
- Pregnancy in adolescents where your body is still in full development and growth.
Treatment of low hemoglobin in pregnancy
Due to the frequent controls presented by the patient during the gestational period, it is possible to make the medical diagnosis with the existence of low hemoglobin levels. In addition to the symptoms, the obstetrician-gynecologist will request blood tests, which will show low levels of this protein.
After the diagnosis has been made, we will proceed to prescription supplements such as iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, which are essential to correct this deficit. These drugs should be taken throughout the pregnancy, including several months after delivery.
The doctor will give you specific indications to take advantage of both the supplements and the foods you should start consuming. One of the recommendations is that you should not ingest iron on an empty stomach. It is necessary to take it with water or orange juice, as vitamin C increases absorption. Milk, coffee, and tea turn out to be incorrect options for its absorption since they produce opposite effects.
The best treatment for low hemoglobin in pregnancy is a diet rich in iron and vitamin B12, for this, it will be essential to increase the consumption of:
- Red meat, Liver.
- Chicken Turkey.
- Fish Seafood.
- Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, chard.
- Legumes such as lentils, peas, beans.
- Pan integral.
In the following article, we show how to make a diet for anemia.
When a healthy diet is maintained, rich in vegetables and accompanied by the consumption of supplements such as iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, the requirements that every woman needs during pregnancy are perfectly covered.
For this reason, control during the nine months of gestation is so essential. With this, it is possible to detect any irregularity that may occur in addition to preventing it. Do not hesitate to go to your gynecologist. He will give you directions to arrive healthy and happy at the end of your pregnancy.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Low Hemoglobin in Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, and Treatment, we recommend entering our Pregnancy and Baby Health category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.