Anemia is not a fun experience! It’s doubly tough in pregnancy when you’re already tired from growing a baby. While mild anemia is fairly common, it can become severe if left untreated or if there’s an underlying condition. Severe untreated anemia can increase the risk of complications for mom and baby. Preterm delivery, low birth weight, and postpartum depression are unfortunately all associated with anemia.
If your care provider diagnoses you with anemia, be sure to follow their guidance so you can get back to feeling normal as soon as possible!
My experience with anemia
When I was pregnant for the first time in 2018, a routine blood test around 28 weeks found me to be anemic. I was tired, out of breath, and my limbs felt like they weighed 100 pounds. I thought it was just how pregnancy was, but I was actually very anemic.
The midwives in charge of my care helped me find a great iron supplement (I took this liquid one). By the time my iron levels were retested a few weeks later, they were still low. Sometimes iron supplements take several weeks to months to improve iron levels and I was running out of time in the pregnancy to get them up. The midwives recommended IV iron infusions to prevent complications during delivery and postpartum.
Hearing that I would be getting iron infused right into my veins totally freaked me out. Was it safe for my baby? What would the side effects be? Did I have to do this? I met with a hematologist and he told me that the liquid iron he prescribed for infusions was safe during pregnancy, I would have minimal side effects, and that I didn’t have to go through with the infusions but because my iron levels were so low I was putting myself and my baby in danger. With everything taken into consideration, I decided to go through with the iron infusions.
Getting infused with some iron during my first pregnancy!