How To Help Anemia During Pregnancy
Being pregnant is an amazing time for most women, however it can be a difficult journey due to the plethora of physical changes that naturally occur during this time. One of these changes is the development of anemia, a condition caused by an insufficient level of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the body. Expectant mothers need to be especially mindful of their health in order to ensure the safety of both themselves and their unborn babies, so here are some tips of how to help anemia during pregnancy.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods:
Iron is a crucial mineral for pregnant mothers and their babies, and is needed for red blood cell production. Incorporating dietary sources of iron is a natural and great way to combat anemia. Here are some of the best iron-rich foods:
- Meat, especially red meat such as beef, liver, salmon and venison
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: spinach, kale and swiss chard
- Eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds
- Whole grains, breads and fortified cereals
- Dried fruits such as apricots and prunes
- Iron-fortified baby cereal
- Seafood such as oysters and clams
In addition to iron-rich foods, supplements can also be beneficial in helping to maintain healthy iron levels in pregnant women. It is recommended that pregnant women supplement with an iron compound such as ferrous sulfate, which should be taken with a full glass of water on an empty stomach. Additionally, prenatal vitamins are also encouraged, as they offer a range of other important vitamins and minerals in addition to iron.
It is important for all individuals, especially pregnant women, to stay hydrated during this time. Water provides a necessary fluid balance to the body’s tissues and helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells, which are essential for red blood cell production. Additionally, the increased urine production associated with proper hydration helps to flush out toxins, a process that can be impeded when anemia is present.
Exercise is beneficial for both the mental and physical well-being of the mother and her unborn baby, and consistent physical activity is one way that anemia can be helped during pregnancy. Exercise helps to increase the rate of red blood cell production, as well as providing improved oxygen uptake in the muscles. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and gentle stretching are especially beneficial.
Rest and Unwind:
Rest and relaxation are also essential when pregnant, as they help to reduce and manage stress, which has been found to be a contributing factor to anemia. Activities such as reading, gardening, drawing, listening to music, meditation and getting regular massages can be beneficial in helping to reduce the likelihood of getting anemia.
Anemia during pregnancy can often be a difficult and uncomfortable condition, but with proper care and attention, it can be successfully managed for a healthy pregnancy. Following the above tips of eating iron-rich foods, taking supplements, staying hydrated and exercising and unwinding can help to reduce the risk and severity of anemia, in turn providing both the mother and her baby the best chance for a safe and healthy delivery.
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