How to increase hemoglobin and that to
when that lady is pregnant
(7th month running)
About 20% of women in the developed world experience iron deficiency during pregnancy that leads to low hemoglobin levels. The condition is known as anemia and in severe cases has been associated with an increased mortality rate amongst pregnant women. Low to moderate anemia has been known to increase the risk of pre-term and low birth weight infants.
Hemoglobin levels may drop during pregnancy for a variety of reasons including dietary factors and an increased demand for iron. Causes of low hemoglobin during pregnancy include:
- Increased Demand for Iron: A pregnant woman requires 30 mg. of iron per day. If this requirement is not met it can lead to iron deficiency anemia, a condition associated with increased weight of the placenta.
- Increased Demand for Folic Acid: Low levels of folic acid may lead to megaloblastic anemia and increase the risks of neural tube defects in newborns.
- Fluid Retention: Pregnancy causes an increase in fluid retention. This may result in increased plasma (blood fluid) levels that can dilute red blood cell concentrations and lead to anemia.
- Heavy Bleeding: Heavy bleeding during birth or multiple births may result in postpartum anemia.
To increase hemoglobin levels, you will need to eat iron rich foods while pregnant. Iron in food is found in two forms, heme or non-heme iron. Heme iron is iron that is most easily absorbed by the body. Foods containing heme iron should be regularly consumed by pregnant women in order to maintain healthy hemoglobin levels. Non-heme iron is the type of iron that is less easily absorbable by the body. Its absorption depends on the balance of different foods in a meal.
Foods containing non-heme iron include eggs, dairy products, dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, mustard greens, kale), dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
Eating meat and fish helps to increase the absorption of non-heme iron. It is also thought that foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits can also help absorb non-heme iron as can foods rich in vitamin B2 or riboflavin.
Eating foods rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid is also essential during pregnancy to avoid megaloblastic anemia. Natural sources of vitamin B12 include meats, fish, dairy products and eggs.