Your body’s red blood cells have an important job. These microscopic blood parts carry oxygen around your body and keep you feeling healthy. During your pregnancy, these cells have to take on even more work, taking oxygen not just to the different parts of your body, but also to your growing baby. Anemia occurs when your body does not have enough red blood cells to distribute an adequate amount of oxygen, reports the Utah Department of Health. This red blood cell deficiency is commonly due to a lack of iron in your diet. If you have anemia, you can expect to experience a host of undesirable symptoms.
Because anemic women do not receive as much oxygen to their muscles, they commonly find themselves tiring more quickly when performing muscle-requiring tasks, such as lifting and climbing stairs.
Fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy in general; however, if you notice a significant drop off in your energy during your pregnancy, it could be a sign that something besides your stamina-sucking bundle of joy is to blame. Mention any increase in fatigue to your doctor, as it could be a sign of anemia or a host of other issues.
When your brain wants for oxygen, it cannot function as effectively. A lack of oxygen reaching the brain often results in dizziness. If you feel dizzy, take a seat and relax, suggests the March of Dimes. Take deep breaths and allow your brain to become reoxygenated. If your dizziness does not pass, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
Many women feel a little extra crabby during their entire nine months of pregnancy, making it difficult to notice an increase in irritability. While irritability is caused by the hormones your body produces during a standard pregnancy, excessive and irrational irritability could be a sign that you are or are becoming anemic.
Your body naturally responds to the presence of less oxygen in the blood by moving blood more quickly through your body. As your body struggles to meet the oxygen needs, your heart rate commonly increases, resulting in a noticeably elevated heart rate.
With less oxygen in your blood, your heart has to work even harder to get your muscles–and your baby’s muscles–the life-preserving oxygen necessary for survival. All this effort can put a strain on your heart, potentially causing tachycardia, or irregular heart rate, and leading to minor chest pain, reports Merck. If you feel any appreciable chest pain during your pregnancy, minor or otherwise, contact your doctor immediately.
- pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com