When you first find out you're pregnant, you're probably ecstatic and looking forward to the future. Maybe you envision a pink-cheeked baby, the smell of baby powder, and the pregnancy glow that you have heard so much about. However, when your doctor tell you that you're anemic, you may feel overwhelmed and uninformed and have no idea what this means for you and your baby.
What Is Anemia?
Sometimes your blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells, and this condition is called anemia. It is not an uncommon condition, and people all over the world may experience this issue at some point in their life, and not just when they are pregnant.
There are three types of pregnancy anemia: iron deficient, folate deficient, or B12 deficient. Due to the new demands on your body, iron deficiency is the type of anemia pregnant women are typically diagnosed with. This is why multivitamins for pregnant women contain iron to help prevent iron deficiency from being a problem. Unfortunately, even if you are getting plenty of iron in your daily routines, there is always a risk your body will not utilize the iron properly while you are pregnant. In fact, iron deficiency anemia is what happens when your red blood cells can't deliver the iron and other nutrients you need throughout the body.
Complications Due to Pregnancy Anemia
A healthy body is important, especially during pregnancy. If a woman is pregnant and has untreated anemia, it can potentially lead to serious complications for the mother and baby. The baby may develop spina bifida, not reach a healthy weight in the womb, be born too early, or be stillborn. The risks of being anemic are serious enough that you should seek your doctor's advice on how to control your particular type of anemia.
Treatment for Pregnancy Anemia
When anemia is diagnosed, your doctor has a few different choices for treatment. Your doctor can either prescribe additional vitamins to be taken with your prenatal pills or a change in diet. He or she may encourage you to eat more meat, eggs, and green leafy vegetables. In some cases, the doctor may choose to give you the nutrients you need in the form of a shot.
If your doctor tells you that you have anemia during your pregnancy, you may find that you are concerned about the growing child in your body and the potential complications that may arise. With treatment and continuing communication with your doctor, you should experience a healthy pregnancy and a baby with few or no issues. Fortunately, there is no reason to panic. As long as you go to regular prenatal doctor appointments and continue to get your iron levels tested, anemia during pregnancy can be treated as long as it is diagnosed. Speak to a physician from a facility like Burnsville Family Physicians for further help and advice.