Symptoms & Risk Factors for Anemia In Pregnancy
Anemia symptoms appear late. If the woman is otherwise healthy, she will rarely have any symptoms of anemia unless her hemoglobin is below 8 g/dl.
The first symptoms will be:
- Paleness (especially of the fingernails, underside of eyelids, lips)
- Palpitations - the awareness of the heartbeat, breathlessness and dizziness can occur, though they are unusual.
- Pica- Cravings for non-food substances like clay, chalk, ask, paper etc. or an abnormal appetite for foods such as cornstarch, tomatoes, lemons, and ice.
- Inflamed, sore tongue
- Jaundice (it is a rare condition)
- If the anemia is severe (less than 6g/dl), it may cause chest pain or headaches
Certain factors put pregnant women at a higher risk of acquiring anemia in pregnancy and include:
- Twin or multiple pregnancy
- Poor nutrition (iron/multivitamin/protein deficiency)
- Smoking (it reduces absorption of essential nutrients)
- Excessive alcohol consumption (it leads to poor nutrition)
- Use of anticonvulsant medications
- Morning sickness severe enough to cause frequent vomiting
- Spacing between two pregnancies is short
- Heavy menstrual flow before pregnancy