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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Anemia During Pregnancy

Anemic and wondering how your condition will affect you and baby during pregnancy? Look no further. We've got all the answers.

What is anemia during pregnancy?

If you're anemic, that means you have too few red blood cells (the cells that carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your blood) or they’re too small. If it's iron-deficiency anemia, it's due to low levels of iron in your blood. But there are many other types of anemia that are caused by illness or disease, such as sickle-cell anemia.

What are the signs of anemia during pregnancy?

In the beginning, you might not show any signs at all. As it worsens, you might feel fatigue, weakness, dizziness, chest pain or irritability. You might notice your skin looking pale, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, or numb or cold hands and feet.

Are there any tests for anemia during pregnancy?

Yes, your blood will probably get tested for anemia as part of your initial pregnancy blood work and again between weeks 24 and 28.

How common is anemia during pregnancy?

Fairly common! According to the Utah Department of Health, about 20 percent of pregnant women get anemia.

How did I get anemia?

Your body may have problems making red blood cells, or they may die faster than it can make them. Low levels of iron or vitamin B12 can cause anemia; so can blood loss or an underlying disease (such as kidney disease). If it’s a blood disease such as sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia or aplastic anemia, you inherited it.

How will my anemia affect my baby?

Just how it could affect your pregnancy depends on the type of anemia you have. In mild cases, there's probably nothing to worry about, but severe iron-deficiency anemia could affect how baby grows and put her at risk for preterm birth. Genetic anemia can increase the chances of complications for both mom and baby, so it's important that you get good prenatal care throughout your pregnancy.

-- Ashley S. Roman, MD, ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine


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