Anaemia during pregnancy is a common condition that occurs when a woman does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to her body’s tissues. This can be caused by a lack of iron, folic acid, or other essential nutrients in the diet. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of anaemia due to the increased demand for iron and other nutrients to support the growth and development of the foetus. Anaemia during pregnancy can lead to serious complications such as preterm labour, low birth weight, and even maternal death. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, risks, and prevention of anaemia during pregnancy, including the importance of a healthy diet and the use of prenatal vitamins and iron supplements.

Anaemia is a common condition that occurs during pregnancy, affecting around 20% of pregnant women worldwide. It is characterized by a decrease in the number of red blood cells or haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Anaemia during pregnancy can have significant implications for both the mother and the developing foetus, and it is important for healthcare providers to recognize and manage this condition effectively.

Symptoms of Anaemia During Pregnancy

The symptoms of anaemia during pregnancy can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and weakness: As the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood decreases, the body may not receive enough oxygen to maintain normal functions. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, and general malaise.
  • Shortness of breath: As the oxygen supply to the body is reduced, the body may struggle to meet the increased oxygen demands of pregnancy. This can cause shortness of breath, especially during physical activity or when lying down.
  • Dizziness and light-headedness: As the blood pressure drops, the body may not receive enough blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness and light-headedness.
  • Paleness: As the number of red blood cells decreases, the skin may appear pale, especially in the face, lips, and nail beds.
  • Headaches: As the oxygen supply to the brain is reduced, headaches may occur.
  • Cold hands and feet: As the body struggles to maintain normal body temperature, the hands and feet may feel cold.
  • Heart palpitations: As the heart struggles to pump enough oxygenated blood to the body, it may beat faster, causing heart palpitations.
  • Loss of appetite: As the body struggles to maintain normal functions, loss of appetite may occur.
  • Iron deficiency anaemia: If anaemia is caused by iron deficiency, other symptoms may include spoon-shaped nails, sore tongue, and a craving for non-food items, such as ice or dirt.

Causes of Anaemia During Pregnancy

Anaemia during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Iron deficiency: Pregnancy increases the body’s demand for iron to support the growth of the foetus and the placenta. If the body does not receive enough iron from the diet, iron deficiency anaemia may occur.
  • Folic acid deficiency: Folic acid is important for the production of red blood cells, and a deficiency can lead to anaemia.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is important for the production of red blood cells, and a deficiency can lead to anaemia.
  • Blood loss: Pregnancy can lead to blood loss during delivery, and heavy bleeding during menstruation can also contribute to anaemia.
  • Chronic diseases: Certain chronic diseases, such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia, can also cause anaemia during pregnancy.
  • Placental insufficiency: In some cases, the placenta may not be able to provide enough oxygen and nutrients to the foetus, leading to anaemia.

Prevention of Anaemia

Prevention of anaemia during pregnancy can be achieved through a variety of measures, including:

  • Adequate intake of iron-rich foods: Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, leafy green vegetables, and fortified cereals.
  • Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation: Pregnant women are often advised to take folic acid and vitamin B12 pregnancy multivitamin supplements to prevent deficiencies.
  • Regular prenatal care: Prenatal care can help identify and manage anaemia during pregnancy early on before it becomes severe.
  • Management of chronic diseases: Women with chronic diseases that can cause anaemia, such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia, should be closely monitored and treated during pregnancy to prevent anaemia.

How TrimacareTM helps in anaemia prevention

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends that pregnant women consume 35 mg of iron per day to prevent anaemia during pregnancy. This can be obtained through natural sources such as leafy green vegetables, cereals, and other iron-rich foods. However, if a pregnant woman is already anaemic, her doctor may prescribe a higher dosage of iron, such as 60 mg or more, in the form of Ferric Ascorbate or Ferrous Fumarate, which can be taken orally. This is to ensure that the woman and the unborn baby receive enough iron to maintain healthy blood cells, and to prevent anaemia from worsening.

TrimacareTM prenatal vitamins are supplements created by PlusPlus Lifesciences, formulated by a team of physicians, pharmacologists, and nutritionists. This prenatal multivitamin follows guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and is available in three different packs, each tailored to the specific needs of each trimester of pregnancy.

The first trimester package, TrimacareTM 1 prenatal multivitamin, does not contain iron as it is a common practice not to provide iron supplements during this time period due to potential gastrointestinal issues. However, the second and third trimester packages, TrimacareTM 2 and TrimacareTM 3, include 60mg of iron as Ferrous Ascorbate, which is slowly absorbed to prevent side effects.

Conclusion

TrimacareTM is designed to provide all 20+ essential nutrients for both the mother and the child, making it a one-stop solution for prenatal nutrition. It is made with natural, plant-based ingredients, making it safe and chemical-free. TrimacareTM pregnancy multivitamin is recommended by leading Indian doctors and is available both online and offline at local pharmacies.