Iron Deficiency Anemia During Pregnancy

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Iron Deficiency Anemia During Pregnancy Over a third of women of reproductive age worldwide suffer from anemia, a condition in which the body’s red blood cell count is too low to meet its physiologic needs for oxygen delivery. Anemia means ‘lack of blood’; it occurs when the concentration of the red blood pigment, hemoglobin, falls below normal levels. Anemia during pregnancy is very common.

Hemoglobin is found inside red blood cells and carries oxygen around the body. Its deficiency brings about many issues during pregnancy. There is a correlation between gestational age and the likelihood of anemia, and during the third trimester, 30% of pregnant women are iron deficient.

In This Article pregnancy pillow

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is defined as a medical condition where the hemoglobin or red blood cell count is less than normal. Men are called anemic if the hemoglobin level is less than 13.5 gm/100 ml, while women are termed anemic if the hemoglobin content is below 12 gm/100 ml of blood. Hemoglobin is the pigment that is responsible for giving the red color to the blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues and organs of the body.

In simple words, anemia can be regarded as a condition when your blood lacks an adequate amount of hemoglobin or red blood cells. The main part of red blood cells(RBCs) is hemoglobin (Hb), and this is needed for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body.

Anemia During Pregnancy

Anemia during pregnancy'

Pregnancy is a time when anemia is quite common. A pregnant lady is required to take 14.8 gm of iron per day. There are many types of anemia, but iron deficiency anemia is usually the one seen during pregnancy. Iron is mandatory for the synthesis of hemoglobin, which in turn is required for red blood cell production in the human body.

What Causes Anemia In Pregnancy?

The causes of anemia when you are expecting are categorized into three types.

  1. Anemia due to iron deficiency
  2. Due to a deficiency of folate
  3. Anemia due to deficiency of vitamin B12

During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your circulation increases by as much as a third. The usual form of Anemia is due to a lack of iron. Iron is essential to produce hemoglobin in the body. Overall, an extra 550 mg of iron is needed throughout pregnancy—300 mg for your baby, 50 mg for the placenta, and 200 mg to offset the blood loss during childbirth.

Iron supplements are no longer given routinely, however, as the body becomes more efficient at absorbing and using iron during pregnancy, and also your losses decrease as menstruation has temporarily ceased. Anemia can also occur in pregnancy owing to a lack of folic acid or vitamin B12.

Symptoms Of Anemia During Pregnancy

Symptoms Of Anemia During Pregnancy.

Here are the common and frequent symptoms that are seen during iron-deficiency symptoms.

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Palpitations and breathlessness
  • Pale nail beds and eyelids
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of concentration
  • Spoon-shaped nails in severe deficiency
  • Strange taste in the mouth
  • Sore tongue
  • Headache
  • Tinnitus
  • Sometimes unusual cravings
  • Worsening of heart problems
  • Hair loss

When Anemia occurs, body tissues may not get enough oxygen for their needs and symptoms of paleness, dizziness, tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breath on exercise, head¬ache, and even palpitations can occur.

A common symptom of iron deficiency during pregnancy is a craving for strange foods such as soil or cola. This is known as pica. If it happens to you during pregnancy, start taking a supplement containing iron immediately. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice on dosage. Your doctor may also want to perform a blood test to check your iron stores.

Some Common Types of Anemia

Here are some common types of Anemia seen during pregnancy.

  1. Iron-deficiency anemia-This Anemia is seen due to a deficiency of iron in the body.
  2. Folate-deficiency Anemia-Folate is folic acid and is a kind of vitamin B. It is required for producing red blood cells. Folic acid deficiency can cause congenital defects such as neural tube defect or spina bifida and small birth weight
  3. Vitamin B12 deficiency-This type of Anemia occurs due to a deficiency of folate and vitamin B12.

Susceptibility to Anemia

susceptibity to iron deficiency anemia.

The following conditions can aggravate the chances or vulnerability to developing Anemia:

  • Women having multiple pregnancies
  • Women experiencing too much vomiting during pregnancy
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Women with decreased appetite
  • Consuming an inadequate diet
  • Women having hemorrhoids

If you experience tiredness or difficulty breathing, immediately consult your doctor. Do not neglect it as it can be an alarming sign of a falling hemoglobin level.

What Happens To The Baby If The Mother Is Anemic?

A baby’s healthy development depends on your adequate consumption of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid when pregnant. You should know that anemia, especially in the first trimester, might have a negative impact on your baby’s development.

Untreated anemia increases the likelihood that your newborn will also be anemic, which can have negative effects on development. The likelihood of having a premature delivery and a kid with low birth weight is also raised by anemia. Animal studies have also indicated that a mother’s risk of having a child born with a heart abnormality is considerably increased if she is highly iron deficient and anemic during the first trimester.

What Is The Treatment Of Iron Deficiency Anemia During Pregnancy?

treatment iron deficiency anemia.

Diagnostic techniques such as kinesiology, iridology, and Kirlian photography may be able to help pinpoint the cause of anemia. A healthy intake of iron helps to prevent iron deficiency anemia. When eating iron-rich foods, or taking iron supplements, wash them down with orange juice as vitamin C helps to ensure optimum absorption of dietary iron from the intestines. Other treatments for iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy are:


Taking a supplement specially formulated for pregnancy that contains iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 will help to reduce the risk of anemia. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking prenatal vitamins without fail.


naturopathy-Cooking in cast iron.

A naturopath takes a holistic view of the patient and treats the underlying cause of the issue with only natural approaches. It includes using cast-iron skillets when cooking (the cooked food absorbs iron). Drinking beet juice for the same purpose of blood-building.


Treatment for anemia can be found in a variety of homeopathic remedies. . The most effective homeopathic treatment for anemia is Ferrum Metallicum. Take Ferrum metallicum or Ferrum Phos-phoricum tissue salts 30c, twice daily.

Have Iron-rich Foods

You can make up for the iron deficiency by consuming plenty of iron-enriched foods. Well, there are two kinds of iron-rich food items:

  • Fish, red meat, and poultry have iron in heme form. Your body very easily utilizes this
  • Food items like dried fruits, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, pulses, and whole-grain bread contain non-heme iron. The non-heme is difficult for the body to absorb
  • Vitamin C aids and supports the absorption of non-heme iron from food. Drinking a glassful of orange juice is advised to enhance iron absorption. Avoid consuming tea and coffee as it hampers the iron absorption in your body

When Should You Consider Seeing A Doctor?

Consult with your doctor regarding Anemia if you experience persistent fatigue, dizziness, unintended movement in your lower legs, breathlessness, a rapid heart rate, pale skin, or any other symptoms of anemia.


1. What Is Considered Severe Iron Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy?

Anemia is considered severe when the CBC shows a hemoglobin level of 6.5 to 7.9 g/dL.

2. Which Trimester Is Iron Most Important?

Very low iron levels contribute to impaired fetal growth and an increased likelihood of preterm birth. The last 10 weeks of pregnancy are crucial for iron consumption because that is when your baby starts to accumulate iron in preparation for the first 6 months of life.

3. Can Anemic Person Give Birth?

Yes. But, babies born to anemic mothers are more than twice as likely to be born prematurely and three times as likely to be born weighing less than 5 pounds. Untreated anemia increases the likelihood that your newborn will also be anemic, which can have negative effects on development.



Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.