Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of the body. Anaemia may be caused by
i) blood loss; ii) decreased red cell production; or iii) increased red cell destruction.
The diagnosis of anaemia is based on the haemoglobin concentration in the blood. Haemoglobin is the protein in the red cells that carries oxygen to the tissues. Iron is required for the synthesis of haemoglobin. In addition, vitamin B12 and folic acid are also needed to produce red cells. A lack of any of these can lead to anaemia, the most common being iron-deficiency anaemia. Requirements for iron in pregnancy are three times higher than in non-pregnant women and the requirement increases as pregnancy advances. Worldwide, one third of pregnant women are anaemic.
Following conditions put the mother at a greater risk of anaemia:
- Pre-pregnancy anaemia
- Inadequate spacing between pregnancies
- Pregnancy with twins or triplets
- Inadequate iron supplementation
All pregnant women should be screened for anaemia. If anaemia becomes severe, it might be harmful to the mother as well as the baby. Poor work capacity, susceptibility to infection, heart failure, premature and low birth weight babies, excessive bleeding after delivery are some of the complications associated with anaemia in pregnancy.
Here is how you can prevent and treat anaemia:
- Ensuring normal haemoglobin level before conception
- Iron-rich foods: dark green leafy vegetables, red meat, eggs, peanuts, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified foods, dried fruits such as apricots and raisins. It is advisable to take a pregnancy specific diet.
- Pairing iron-rich food or iron tablets with a food or drink high in vitamin C (lemon juice, citrus fruits, or strawberries) can enhance the absorption of iron
- Calcium, on the other hand, decreases iron absorption and should not be taken in combination with iron-rich food or tablets
- Folic acid and vitamin B12 should also be supplemented if found deficient
- Women who are intolerant to oral iron tablets may be advised iron injections
• Women suffering from severe anaemia may need blood transfusion
While most of us enjoy a good night’s rest of clean 8 hours, pregnancy can be a time of sleeplessness, discomforts, and health issues. Sleeplessness, snoring, nausea, morning sickness, leg cramps, heartburn etc. are some common problems that affect almost all pregnant women. Due to the lack of sleep, most expectant mothers suffer from fatigue or a sense of feeling low etc. As the pregnancy progresses, women find it difficult to sleep due to uncomfortable sleeping positions. Each trimester brings in different types of sleep problems.
Here are ten tips that will help enhance your sleep quality:
- Minimize fluid intake before bedtime: It is very essential for a pregnant woman to remain hydrated. So, drink plenty of water during the day and cut down your fluid intake before going to bed. This will minimize frequent urinations during the night.
- Exercise regularly: To improve circulation of blood, it is very essential to keep moving. You can do pregnancy exercises under a trained pre-natal expert. Proper circulation of blood will reduce leg cramps letting you sleep well at night and elevate your mental health.
- Drink warm milk: Studies have shown that drinking a glass of milk before going to bed provides good sleep.
- Have nutritious food: Foods rich in carbohydrates help in promoting sleep. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet throughout your pregnancy.
- Avoid heavy meal: Before going to bed, avoid having a heavy meal. During the day, have small meals but frequently.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks: During pregnancy, it would be best to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol etc. Besides ensuring better sleep it will also be good for your baby’s health.
- Take a warm bath: Before going to bed indulge yourself in a warm bath. It will help you feel refreshed and sleep properly.
- Use pillows: You can use pregnancy pillows while sleeping. Lot of pillows help create cushioning and padding for comfort.
- Relaxation techniques: Use relaxation techniques at home or join yoga or birthing classes to learn other relaxation techniques to improve your sleep.
• Sleep in comfortable positions: Try to sleep comfortably and after the 20th week of pregnancy, sleep on the left side to ensure proper circulation of blood to the placenta.
“Sometimes miracles come in pairs”.
Twin pregnancies often evoke feelings of excitement and nervousness and we know that you might be worried about a lot of things.
Here are 9 tips for Twin Baby Management:
- Go for frequent antenatal visits as they help monitor complications. Early intervention is always recommended.
- Examine the growth of your twin babies carefully and regularly. Frequent foetal assessment should be done by ultrasounds and by monitoring your twin’s hearts.
- A healthy twin pregnancy requires more nutritional intake. Stay hydrated, take your vitamins, and consult your nutritionist for a healthy, balanced diet of protein, fat, and complex carbs.
- Have peppermint and ginger tea to get relief from stomach upset and nausea.
- Beat the fatigue by maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and taking plenty of rest.
- Eat something healthy which has protein and complex carbs as soon as you wake up.
- Try to get some exercise and fresh air. 20-minutes of walking can do wonders for your health and energy.
- Newborn Twins might need special care, choose a hospital that offers complete neonatal care.
- Complications can appear at any point of time during your twin childbirth and may not always be predictable. It is important to select a hospital that responds well to emergencies, with appropriate facilities, where you can be cared for by experts.
If proper care is taken during your pregnancy, there are minimal chances of complications. You should be in touch with your midwife or obstetrician and chart a birth plan. Do not be afraid to clear all your doubts. It is also important to discuss the pros and cons of your normal twin birth or caesarean twin birth. Awareness is your greatest aid. Being pregnant with twins can be a lot of work for you, but the reward will be an exciting one.
Book an appointment at our Twin Birth Centre today. Call 1800 419 1397
The first early sign of having twins is pure intuition. Most mothers of twin babies report that they had a sense or feeling that they were expecting multiples, even before they knew for sure. But for many people, the news may come as a complete surprise.
While there is no way to be absolutely sure without an ultrasound, here are 7 alternative symptoms that you can look for:
- Morning Sickness: Women pregnant with multiple babies report experiencing elevated levels of morning sickness, or morning sickness that lasts longer into their pregnancy. But this can vary from person to person
- High Human chorionic gonadotropin (HcG): Early positive pregnancy test signs of twins is having double or more than expected amount of HCG. Your obstetrician will be able to establish this with a urine test.
- High Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP): Through AFP test, a protein is measured which is secreted by the fetal liver. If there is more than one baby, then the amount of protein is high in the mother’s blood.
- Second heartbeat: If detected by your OBGYN they will probably ask you to go in for an ultrasound.
- Some people report showing earlier when pregnant with twins.
- Early-onset or heavy Fatigue could be a possible sign of twins.
- Weight Gain: During the first trimester of your pregnancy, weight gain is usually relatively low. Increased weight gain can be a twin baby symptom. Monitor your BMI and keep your OBGYN posted.
While a pregnancy with twins or multiples is exciting, it comes with some risks. Focusing on your health and seeking prenatal care is especially important during a twin pregnancy.
Early signs of twins cannot tell you for sure whether you are pregnant with two or more babies, but regular prenatal appointments and testing can. Always discuss your concerns with your OBGYN and take good care of yourself — no matter how many babies you are carrying.
Book an appointment with our Twin Birth Centre Today. Call 1800 419 1397