What can be done to address anaemia during pregnancy?

The following steps will be undertaken by your doctor during pregnancy:

  1. Your haemoglobin status will be determined by your doctor. The normal range of haemoglobin in pregnant women is 11 mg/dl and above.
  2. If you are found to be anaemic, your doctor will prescribe iron supplement and recommend the proper dosage.
  3. You will need to take the iron supplement along with the other antenatal supplement as advised by your doctor.
  4. When iron supplement is taken continuously, your condition may improve and if not your doctor may evaluate the situation further to rule out other causes such as parasitic infections.

Oral iron supplement

  • Is sometimes flavoured to masks the metallic taste.
  • May contain manganese or vitamin C to help with iron absorption.
  • May contain sorbitol which helps with constipation caused by iron supplementation.

Supplemental iron is usually required during pregnancy and breastfeeding to fulfill the high iron demand during this period.

Will I suffer from anaemia after delivery?
The following women are at risk of experiencing iron deficiency anaemia after delivery:

  • Confirmed iron deficiency anaemia during the last three months of pregnancy
  • Excessive blood loss during delivery
  • A women who has experienced multiple births

Additional iron is lost during this process and therefore the period after delivery is a time of recuperation of iron status. The normal range of haemoglobin in women after delivery is 12 mg/dl and above.

References:

  1. Stoltzfus RJ, Dreyfuss ML. Guidelines for the use of iron supplements to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia. International Nutritional Anemia Consultative Group (INACG). http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/guidelines_for_Iron_supplementation.pdf Accessed on 15 April 2016
  2. Bodnar LM. Who Should Be Screened for Postpartum Anemia? An Evaluation of Current Recommendations. Am J Epidermiol 2002; 156:903-912. Available at: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/156/10/903.full.pdf

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