During pregnancy, one of the most common conditions that women suffer from is anaemia. Being anaemic means having less blood in the body, which hinders oxygen from being supplied to the tissues and the unborn child.
Dr Alex Amooti Kakoraki, a general practitioner at Murchison Bay Hospital in Luzira, says during pregnancy, the body is required to produce more blood to support the growth of the baby. But if an expectant mother does not have enough iron or other important nutrients, it becomes hard for the body to produce the required amount of red blood cells that generate the blood.
The common causes of anaemia include iron deficiency, diseases such as cancer of the blood (leukaemia), low vitamin levels, diseases that affect the placenta such as bacterial infections and sickle cell.
So how does an expectant woman know if she is anaemic?
One of the early warning signs, according to Dr Kakoraki is general body weakness and abnormal heart beat. Other symptoms include change in skin colour and dizziness.
In cases where anaemia goes untreated, Dr Kakoraki says it can increase a pregnant woman’s risk of developing complications such as having a preterm birth (giving birth to a baby that is less than 37 weeks old).
Dr Kakoraki says women can prevent the condition by taking iron tablets every day, from the early weeks of conception, up to the time a woman gives birth. He says expectant mothers should also eat foods that contain iron such as leafy vegetables, millet, beetroot and avocado juice.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor