Anaemia during pregnancy is a pressing health issue that affects women globally, but it holds particular significance in the context of Indian pregnant women. Anaemia in pregnancy can be a challenging condition, but with the right strategies and guidance, it is entirely possible to overcome it and ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby. 53% of Indian women of reproductive age, 50% of pregnant women, and 58% of nursing moms are anaemic, according to National Family Health Survey – 4 (NFHS-4).
This article aims to shed light on the causes and possible solutions to anaemia during pregnancy in India.
Primary Causes of Anaemia in Pregnancy
Anaemia during pregnancy can occur due to a variety of factors, and it is often a result of a combination of these factors. The primary causes of anaemia during pregnancy include:
- Iron Deficiency: This is the most common cause of anaemia during pregnancy. Iron produces haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases to support the growing foetus, and she needs more iron to produce additional haemoglobin. If her iron intake is insufficient, it can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia in pregnancy.
- Folate Deficiency: Folate is another essential nutrient required to produce red blood cells. A deficiency in folate can result in a type of anaemia known as megaloblastic anaemia.
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency: During pregnancy, Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of red blood cells. A deficiency in vitamin B12 leads to megaloblastic anaemia.
- Dietary Factors: Inadequate intake of iron-rich foods and foods containing folate and vitamin B12 can contribute to anaemia in pregnancy. Anaemia is common in pregnant women with limited access to nutritious food.
- Blood Loss: Some degree of blood loss is typical during childbirth, and it can contribute to anaemia, especially if the woman was already borderline anaemic during pregnancy.
- Parasitic Infections: In regions with poor sanitation and hygiene, parasitic infections like hookworm and malaria can lead to blood loss and anaemia.
- Chronic Illnesses: Pre-existing chronic conditions such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or chronic kidney disease can predispose pregnant women to anaemia.
- Multiple Pregnancies: Women carrying twins or multiples are at a higher risk of developing anaemia during pregnancy because of the increased demands on their bodies.
- Teenage Pregnancy: Young girls who become pregnant are more likely to be anaemic because their bodies are still growing, and they may not have reached their full nutritional potential.
- Certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like iron, leading to anaemia during pregnancy
Other Causes of Anaemia in Pregnant Women
Several factors contribute to the high prevalence of anaemia in pregnant Indian women:
- Dietary Deficiencies: A significant factor is the inadequate intake of essential nutrients, particularly iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, which are crucial for preventing anaemia during pregnancy. Many Indian women, especially in rural areas, have diets that lack these nutrients.
- Early Marriage and Pregnancy: In many parts of India, early marriage and pregnancy are still prevalent. Young girls who become pregnant are at higher risk for anaemia because their bodies are not fully developed, and they often do not receive proper nutrition.
- Infections and Parasites: Poor sanitation and hygiene conditions in some regions can lead to parasitic infections, which can cause blood loss and worsen anaemia.
- Lack of Awareness: Limited awareness about the importance of regular antenatal check-ups and iron prenatal supplement during pregnancy is also a cause of anaemia.
Pregnancy Anaemia – Preventive measures
Preventing anaemia in pregnancy is crucial for the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. Here are some key preventive measures:
- Balanced Diet: Consume a well-balanced diet rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
- Iron-Rich Foods: Prioritize iron-rich foods, especially heme iron sources found in red meat, poultry, and fish.
- Plant-Based Iron Sources: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, focus on non-heme iron sources like beans, lentils, tofu, and fortified cereals.
- Iron Supplements: Take prenatal vitamins containing iron and folic acid to meet increased nutritional demands during pregnancy.
- Vitamin C-Rich Foods: Incorporate foods high in vitamin C into your meals to enhance the absorption of non-heme iron from plant-based sources.
- Prevent dehydration: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate anaemia symptoms.
- Lifestyle Factors: Address lifestyle factors that can contribute to anaemia, such as heavy menstrual bleeding or poor dietary habits.
By following these preventive measures and working closely with your doctor, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing anaemia during pregnancy and ensure a healthier pregnancy journey.
Why Trimacare Prenatal Multivitamin is the Most Popular Choice Among Pregnant Indian Women?
Trimacare Prenatal tablets provide trimester-specific care for the unique needs of the mother and baby throughout each trimester and are created for the needs of Indian pregnant women, as opposed to generic and foreign prenatal pills, which do not address the needs of Indian pregnant women. Indian Pregnant women can acquire 20+ important nutrients from one Trimacare prenatal multivitamin, to ensure they get everything they need for the duration of their pregnancy.
Trimacare Multivitamins for pregnant women is 100% vegetarian. Thus, Trimacare pregnancy vitamin tablet is therefore the ideal option for Indian women who are vegetarians or sensitive to the omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or fish oil found in prenatal vitamins.
Therefore, Anaemia during pregnancy is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can be overcome with the right approach. By seeking timely medical advice, embracing a nutrient-rich diet, and following prescribed treatments, you can ensure a healthy and vibrant pregnancy.