As you probably already know, many health concerns can arise during your pregnancy .
Although often benign, it is nevertheless important to be aware of them in order to guard against them and to know how to identify the first symptoms .
Because if there is one step during which you must not allow yourself to be weakened, it is this one!
To help you see more clearly, we are going to analyze together the causes and remedies for the appearance of a lack of iron in the blood during pregnancy.
Did you know?
In 2009, the WHO estimated that around 42% of pregnant women worldwide were anemic.
Source: Pierre Louis Doctoral School of Public Health, ED 393 Epidemiology and Biomedical Information Sciences
Anemia during pregnancy: What are the symptoms?
Anemia is characterized by a decrease in your red blood cells .
These are responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to your organs.
This type of deficiency may be due to blood loss or an abnormality in your blood cell production .
In those affected, the following symptoms are frequently found:
- General fatigue, physical and/or mental
- Lack of motivation and enthusiasm
- A weak appetite throughout the day
- Appearance of dizziness and headaches
- Memory problems and hair loss
- Decreased libido
Anemia may also be characterized by pale-toned skin or may manifest as jaundice .
Why does pregnancy favor its appearance?
When you're pregnant, your iron needs increase and can lead to iron deficiencies .
The requirements for vitamins B9 and B12 also increase and can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
Note that the anemia associated with expecting a newborn is generally due to an increased need for iron and not to a profound imbalance in your immune system.
This is because your body grows considerably, causing an increase in blood volume . This phenomenon is directly linked to a greater need for iron so that your body can meet its own iron needs.
And you are no longer alone! Your fetus also has its iron intake needs for its growth and development. So that the quantity of red blood cells necessary for the good progress of your pregnancy increases with time and the size of your baby.
However, there are multiple solutions to combat the lack of iron and prevent its appearance.
Foods rich in iron
Luckily, the woman's body is very well designed! Indeed, it adapts and requisitions its iron reserves in order to prevent a possible insufficiency.
Simultaneously, menstrual cycles stop during pregnancy, reducing the risk of becoming anemic .
These different physical processes combined with a balanced diet generally ensure that non-deficient women meet their iron needs during pregnancy naturally.
To have enough iron, you will need to adopt a diet rich in iron : opt for whole grains, red meat or black pudding.
When consumed twice a week, fish can also provide you with a very interesting iron supply .
However, be sure to cook it well to avoid the risk of contamination with toxoplasmosis and listeriosis .
Fruits and vegetables are also rich in iron and filled with good nutrients:
Chickpeas, lentils, beans, spinach, watercress, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
They commonly contain vitamin C , which aids iron absorption .
Note that iron of plant origin is less well assimilated by the digestive system than iron of animal origin.
Also turn to foods rich in folic acid and vitamin B9 or B12 (dairy products, green vegetables, egg yolks, etc.) throughout your pregnancy.
Even if you do not suffer from iron deficiency , these foods are recommended as part of a diversified and balanced diet .
The consequences of anemia on the infant:
Severe anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of premature delivery or having a low birth weight baby. It can also be the cause of postpartum depression.
Some studies also show an increased risk of infant death immediately before or after birth.
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 95: Anemia in pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2008;112:201. Reaffirmed 2015.
Natural food supplements to prevent and fight against anemia.
Food supplements to be taken orally generally provide many effective nutrients against nutritional deficiencies and needs.
For example, the transferrin glycoproteins present in Lactrim help regulate iron levels to combat iron deficiency anemia .
In addition, the lactoferrin in Lactrim can help you curb viral or bacterial infections such as COVID-19 or diarrhea, as soon as they appear.
We also advise you to read our article on lactoferrin to learn more about it.
Combined with regular consumption of vitamin B12 or B9 (folic acid), this treatment generally gives very good results.
Especially since many prenatal doctors routinely prescribe the addition of folic acid to pregnant women.
To sum up, an iron-rich diet combined with taking natural food supplements before and during pregnancy can help you avoid severe anemia which, in the most serious cases, requires a blood transfusion .