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What Are the Symptoms of Anemia in Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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The symptoms of anemia in pregnancy can range from none at all to severe. As the condition progresses, those affected by the condition may begin to notice fatigue, weakness, and headache. Other symptoms of anemia in pregnancy include cold hands and feet, pale skin, chest pain, and irritability.

Anemia is diagnosed when a woman has a low level of red blood cells. During pregnancy, this is especially concerning because red blood cells help transport oxygen to both the mother and the developing fetus. Testing is usually completed throughout the pregnancy to check for anemia.

There are various causes of the development of anemia in pregnancy. For pregnant women, low iron levels are the leading cause of anemia. Other causes include illness and disease, such as sickle cell anemia.

During the initial stages of pregnancy, a woman may not know she has anemia. Symptoms may not be present and testing may not confirm anemia. As the baby begins to develop and requires more blood and oxygen, symptoms may begin to emerge.

Symptoms begin to become noticeable as the body tries to compensate for the increased need for blood and oxygen. This includes symptoms such as fatigue and weakness. Those in the early stages of anemia in pregnancy or those with severe anemia may also begin to experience headaches.

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Other symptoms may become more noticeable as the condition progresses. This includes the possibility of cold hands and feet due to the lack of circulation and shortness of breath due to the lack of oxygenated blood being delivered to the lungs. Additional symptoms include pale skin, rapid heartbeat, and chest pain.

Diagnosis of anemia is typically made during routine exams during pregnancy. Those planning to get pregnant can have testing done during a prenatal exam to test for anemia. Women already pregnant should get a test for anemia between weeks 24 and 28 of her pregnancy. Testing can help identify those with anemia and allow them to make corrections to help prevent the risks associated with anemia in pregnancy. These risks include low birth weight and preterm birth.

Various precautions can be taken to help limit the chances of developing anemia and the associated symptoms and risks. Taking a prenatal vitamin can help limit the possibility of experiencing low iron levels during pregnancy. In addition, eating a diet high in iron will also help stave off the development of anemia. Foods high in iron include oatmeal, spinach, and nuts.

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discographer
Post 3
@ysmina-- Signs of mild anemia in pregnancy is actually very common and can be fixed easily with an iron supplement. It can cause symptoms like getting tired easily, napping often, feeling hot and craving odd things like ice. Most prenatal vitamins contain iron, which can help prevent the problem.

In general, it's advisable for all pregnant women to eat foods rich in iron like spinach and meat.

turquoise
Post 2

I found out by chance that I have pregnancy anemia. I don't have any of these symptoms! I don't know if that's good or bad.

ysmina
Post 1

I'm six months pregnant and last month, I started feeling extremely tired and at times dizzy, like I would faint. These are things that can occur in pregnancy, so I didn't worry much. I did go to my doctor just in case though, to make sure the baby was fine.

My doctor ran some tests and saw that my iron levels and red blood cell levels are too low. I started taking iron supplements and went for testing again this month. Everything is back to normal and my symptoms are gone too.

If anyone else is experiencing the signs of anemia during pregnancy, please get checked out! Like the article said, it's very important.

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