Know How to Prevent Anemia During Pregnancy

Know How to Prevent Anemia During Pregnancy

How to prevent anemia during pregnancy is important to know. The reason is, anemia is quite common in pregnant women, and is at risk of causing various health problems for pregnant women and fetuses. This condition can even be fatal.

Preventing anemia during pregnancy is actually very simple and easy to do. Anemia in pregnancy generally occurs because there is an imbalance between the level of need and intake of nutrients to form red blood cells.

During pregnancy, the nutritional requirements for the production of red blood cells will increase. This is because more red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen throughout the body, including to the uterus to support fetal growth.

If these nutritional needs are not balanced with adequate intake, anemia will occur in pregnancy. Anemia in pregnancy can be iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folate, or maybe a combination of both.

How to prevent anemia during pregnancy

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common anemia during pregnancy. So, one of the main ways to prevent anemia during pregnancy is to meet the daily iron needs of pregnant women, which is as much as 27 mg per day.

But remember, iron is not the only nutrient needed to form red blood cells. Intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 is also needed to prevent anemia during pregnancy.

Well, here are some ways to make sure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to produce red blood cells:

Take prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins usually contain iron and folic acid which are good for the blood. Taking prenatal vitamins once a day is an easy way to get essential nutrients to support the body's production of red blood cells.

Usually, this vitamin will be given every time you check your pregnancy at the doctor or midwife. Therefore, make sure not to miss your gynecological examination schedule.

Take iron supplements

If your blood test results show low iron levels, your doctor may prescribe additional iron supplements in addition to your daily prenatal vitamins.

When taking iron supplements, you are advised to avoid foods or drinks high in calcium, such as dairy products, egg yolks, coffee, and tea, because these foods can reduce the absorption of iron in the intestines.

In addition to high-calcium foods, antacid drugs can also interfere with the absorption of iron by the body. So if taking this drug, make sure you take iron 2 hours before or 4 hours after.

Proper nutrition

The need for iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 during pregnancy can actually be fulfilled by eating the right foods. The following are some foods that you can consume to prevent anemia during pregnancy:
  • Fish
  • Poultry, such as chicken or duck
  • Lean red meat
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and cabbage
  • Fruits, such as bananas and melons
In addition to eating the foods above, you are also advised to eat foods that are high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi, or oranges. Vitamin C is needed by the body to absorb iron better.

Preventing anemia during pregnancy can start early or before pregnancy because some women are at a higher risk of developing anemia, even before becoming pregnant. For example, women who have had many children before or women who have hookworm infections.

Women with a vegetarian diet are also more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, because this vitamin is generally obtained from meat.

Therefore, it is better to first check your health condition before planning a pregnancy. If indeed you have anemia, your doctor can provide treatment to overcome it before you become pregnant. That way, your body will be better prepared for pregnancy.

However, remember, do not take iron supplements without a prescription and the right dose from a doctor, because taking too many iron supplements can cause various side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

If you are pregnant or following a pregnancy program, make sure your intake of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 is adequate. The simplest and safest way is to do pregnancy control to the doctor regularly and take prenatal vitamins that are recommended by the doctor.