During pregnancy, a mother should be extremely careful regarding her daily requirement of iron. Since the child is drawing iron from her reserves, the mother has every chance of developing anemia, during this period.
Anemia is a condition where there is a severe or moderate shortage of the red blood cells. The red blood cells are responsible for the transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. The red blood cells are a combination of a protein part and an iron part. So deficiency of iron will lead to anemia, in an expecting mother.
- The symptoms of anemia include:
- Dizziness and weakness.
- Pale complexion.
- Heart palpitation.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Shortness of breath.
- If a pregnant mother happens to observe these symptoms for a considerable period of time, she should immediately consult a doctor. It calls for immediate medical attention.
The most common method of treating anemia during pregnancy is through iron-supplements, so that her daily requirement is met. Iron supplements used to cure anemia, may develop many side effects in the pregnant mother. Side effects like irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea and nausea are common in a patient suffering from anemia. Many iron supplements generally make the stool appear darker. So, a pregnant mother may not be worried, if she is facing these kinds of problems, after taking the iron supplements. These problems are very common and go away as and when the iron supplement is stopped.
The best way to prevent developing anemia is to maintain a regular intake of food rich in iron content, during pregnancy. Her diet can include red meat, poultry, eggs, tofu, leafy green vegetables, legumes, broccoli, whole-grain bread or cereals. Dried fruits like raisins, dates and apricots are also good sources of iron.
Liver is also a very good source of iron, but it is rich in Vitamin A too. So, having too much liver may not be good for the health of the unborn child, due to excess of Vitamin A.