Iron Deficiency in Pregnant Women: Causes, Symptoms, and Ways to Eliminate
Every fourth pregnant woman suffers from iron deficiency. With prolonged iron deficiency in the body, iron deficiency anemia develops. This condition is characterized by a decrease in hemoglobin levels. What is the danger? It’s to hemoglobin in red blood cells that oxygen is attached, which red blood cells deliver to all tissues and organs. But with anemia, there is not enough hemoglobin, and less oxygen enters the blood. So cells don’t get enough oxygen and die, which is dangerous for the life of the mother and baby.
Even a small deficiency of iron disrupts the processes of cell growth and division, energy production, wound healing, and reduces immunity. Why does iron deficiency occur during pregnancy, how to detect it and how to eliminate it?
Causes of Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy
Iron during pregnancy is consumed all three trimesters. Initially, it’s necessary for the formation and growth of the placenta, and is also used for the formation of the fetal musculature, immune system, blood formation organs and the circulatory system of the fetus.
Subsequently, iron is required mainly to maintain the necessary level of hemoglobin. The fact is that the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the embryo, as well as the removal of products of its metabolism occurs through the mother’s blood. So, during pregnancy the volume of blood in the female body increases. In the second trimester by 30%, and in the third trimester by 50%. Accordingly, the number of erythrocytes increases and, consequently, so does hemoglobin, of which iron is a part. So, the need for iron in a pregnant woman increases sharply.
If the body doesn’t get enough iron, the increase in blood volume decreases both the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and the number of red blood cells.
Anemia can occur at any stage of pregnancy. If it occurred already in the first trimester, it means that the woman entered pregnancy experiencing iron deficiency. This often happens in case of an unbalanced diet or diet (vegetarianism, refusal of red meat in favor of chicken breasts, etc.). Women with chronic gastrointestinal diseases, in which iron absorption is difficult, are also at risk.
Other causes of anemia in pregnancy include vitamin B deficiency, vitamin C, massive blood loss, frequent deliveries with short intervals between them, and diseases associated with a lack of blood proteins involved in iron metabolism.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy
When the hemoglobin level decreases gradually, the expectant mother may feel normal for a long time, but the problem is already there. It’s important to take regular blood tests and pay attention to the characteristic symptoms of anemia:
- Pallor of the skin and mucous membranes.
- Weakness, fainting.
- Shortness of breath.
- Increased fatigue.
- Irritability, sleepiness.
- Brittle hair and nails.
- Flaking of the skin, cracks in the corners of the mouth.
Having anemia, a woman feels so tired that she cannot even gamble at Woo Casino, what to say about working and completing daily chores.
Consequences of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy has serious consequences. First, it threatens the life of the mother and the fetus, since a lack of iron leads to oxygen starvation, and life is impossible without oxygen.
The other consequences of iron deficiency cannot be attributed to light, either:
- Threat of spontaneous termination of pregnancy.
- Premature birth.
- Premature detachment of the placenta.
- Delayed fetal development.
- Low baby weight.
- Anemia in a baby in the first year of life. Such children have a weakened immune system and are more susceptible to viral diseases
- Postpartum maternal infections, high risk of bleeding.
The above severe conditions are easier to prevent than to treat. Therefore, prevention of anemia is important, which is taking iron during pregnancy.