- What is anemia?
- Anemia, one of the more common blood disorders, occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells decreases. In other words when the percentage of oxygenated red blood cells circulating in your system decreases. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia.
- How is it detected?
- Blood tests are done to check for anemia at your first prenatal appointment.
- How can it be avoided?
- Take prenatal vitamins daily before pregnancy; eat iron rich foods (raisins, red meat, dark leafy green vegetables, prunes, cream of wheat, and liver) in your diet.
- How is it treated?
- It’s treated with over the counter iron supplements and increasing iron in the diet (see above).
Other important information:
- Take iron supplements with citrus juice, containing Vitamin C to improve absorption.
- Get regular prenatal care so your iron level can be tracked. Those expecting twins are more likely to be anemic and should start taking iron supplements during the late second trimester, under the direction of the doctor.
Source: Katrina Jensen, MS, RN, SelectHealth Healthy Beginnings Perinatal Care Manager