If you are not getting enough vitamin B9, it could cause a folic acid deficiency anemia. This deficiency could cause serious problems for you and your baby. Folic acid is an essential part of the formation of a fetus. There are easy ways to prevent it, though. You and the medical team working with you throughout your pregnancy need to work together to ensure you are consuming enough folic acid to achieve a healthy, successful pregnancy.
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How a Lack of Folic Acid Causes Anemia During Pregnancy
Folic acid is a fancy term for vitamin B9. You can consume it through pill form, commonly referred to as a prenatal vitamin during pregnancy. You can also find it in many foods that you eat. If you do not consume enough folic acid, serious complications can happen, including anemia.
Anemia occurs when you do not have enough red blood cells in your body. Red blood cells have the job of carrying oxygen to the rest of your body so that it can function properly. Folic acid helps create new red blood cells. Therefore, if you do not have enough of it, your body will not produce sufficient red blood cells. In turn, vital organs and tissues in your body will be depleted of oxygen and run poorly or fail altogether.
People with anemia have less red blood cells in their system. The red blood cells that they do have are larger than normal and misshapen. They often die out quicker, resulting in low levels of oxygen carried throughout your body. Therefore, many people who are anemic often feel tired and weak.
When you are pregnant, you can become more susceptible to this condition because you will need to consume more folic acid to support the growth of your fetus. Change of hormones can also make a woman’s body unable to absorb folic acid as usual.
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Problems Associated with Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia During Pregnancy
A folic acid deficiency that causes anemia can come with harsh consequences. For one, you will not feel well, which can make for an uncomfortable, depressing, and stressful pregnancy.
Symptoms you may get with this condition can include:
- Decreased appetite
More importantly, your baby can suffer the worst. Folic acid deficiency anemia is known to cause serious brain and spinal defects. These can cause abnormalities and even lead to death.
Treating Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia While Pregnant
The difficult part about treating a folic acid deficiency is that you have to diagnose it first. You will not be able to do this on your own. You need blood drawn to do this. During your first prenatal visit, a nurse may take your blood to check for any infections or diseases. This blood test will also reveal whether you have a folic acid deficiency. If your levels come back low, you can increase your intake through your diet or a supplement.
You can find good sources of it in the things you eat. These food sources can include green leafy foods, beans, nuts, eggs, citrus fruits, etc. There are plenty of foods rich in folic acid, but while you are pregnant, maintaining a folic acid-rich diet may be difficult.
One reason for this is because you need to consume more folic acid when you are pregnant. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), pregnant women should consume about 600mg of folic acid. This amount is 200mg more than the recommended daily intake for a woman who is not pregnant.
Another reason it may be hard to maintain a folic acid-rich diet is because of morning sickness common among pregnancies, especially in the first trimester. With morning sickness, it may be hard to consume your daily caloric count, let alone a healthy meal. Small portions of bland foods are usually best to combat morning sickness. The first trimester is the most vulnerable for your fetus. In fact, serious congenital disabilities occurring to the brain and spine happen within the first months after conception, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A supplement or a prenatal vitamin can contain your daily folic acid intake in one pill. It is important to take one every day. This routine will ensure that you are consuming enough for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy, reducing the risks of serious congenital disabilities.
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When You Should Take Legal Action for a Birth Injury
If your doctor or nurse failed to properly examine or treat you, which caused folic acid deficiency anemia, and you are facing serious and costly complications, you may have a right to sue. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to speak to a legal member about your case now at (800) 222-9529.