The aim of this article is to educate and give awareness about the anemia in pregnancy and its effects.
According to WHO, hemoglobin less than 11 gms is called anemia. If it is less than 10 gms it is moderate, if less than 7 gms severe and less than 4 gms is a very severe grade of anemia. Hemoglobin is made up of two components haem and globin. Iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 are required for haem production. So, any deficiency of these will cause anemia.
Commonest cause is iron deficiency anemia and which is preventable and correctable also. It is mostly seen in low socio-economic groups. But now, in modern days, we are noticing iron deficiency anemia in high socio-economic groups also. Because of improper food habits, choosy eating habits, high consumption of coffee and tea which will hamper iron absorption and also lack of attention towards excessive blood loss during menstruation results in anemia.
Usually severe and very severe anemia only give symptoms like easy fatigability, dizziness, breathlessness and palpitation. Severe anaemia will affect pregnant mother by causing spontaneous abortions, recurrent infections, preterm labor, high blood loss during labour, shock and it is one of the causes for maternal mortality.
Severe anemia will affect the baby as growth retardation, congenital anomalies, fetal anemia and stillbirth. Mild to moderate grades are usually asymptomatic but can go to severe grade if left untreated. Prevention is better than cure. Pregnant females should take iron rich food like dates, green leafy vegetables, jaggery, pomegranate, meat, egg and fish.
Usually we treat anemia with oral iron preparations. Injectable iron preparations are used in moderate grades close to delivery, and if there is no response with oral iron therapy. Blood transfusion is usually required in very severe anemia and during delivery period.
So to achieve a healthy mother and healthy baby, pregnant mothers should have pre pregnancy counseling, health check and also should have regular antenatal checks.