Pregnancy guide


Haemoglobin levels drops usually in the middle of pregnancy due to the increased volume of blood.
If it decreases to the point of causing tiredness, shortness of breath, paleness and lethargy, them treatment needs to be started.

What causes anaemia during pregnancy?

Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues.
During pregnancy, your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply, doubling your need for iron.
If you don’t have enough iron stores, you could develop iron deficiency anaemia.

How does anaemia during pregnancy affect your baby?

Anaemia during pregnancy might increase the risk of preterm delivery or a low birth weight baby.

What are the risk factors for anaemia during pregnancy?
  • Have two or more closely spaced pregnancies
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby
  • Are vomiting frequently due to the morning sickness
  • Don’t consume enough iron
  • Have a heavy pre-pregnancy anaemia
What are the symptoms of anaemia during pregnancy?
  • Be excessively tired and weak
  • Becoming increasingly pale
  • Have heart palpitations
  • Be short of breath
  • Feel dizzy or lightheaded
How can anaemia during pregnancy be prevented and treated?

Good nutrition can prevent anaemia during pregnancy. Dietary sources of iron include lean red meat, poultry and fish. Other options are iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and vegetables.
Prenatal vitamins typically contain iron. That can prevent and treat anaemia during pregnancy. In some cases, your health care provider might recommend a separate iron supplement.
Avoid tea, coffee, bran, as they prevent iron being absorbed.
Herbal remedies: Nettle, peppermint, blackcurrant, yellow dock or parsley tea.

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Guide summary