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The body needs an increase in the level of haemoglobin during pregnancy because a pregnant woman’s body needs more oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is directly proportional to the circulating haemoglobin level. During the nine months of pregnancy, the mother’s body works harder to provide nutrition to the developing foetus. The volume of blood in the mother’s body also goes up by 40% – 50% during this period. Therefore, pregnant women should have high folic acid and iron intake to meet the blood requirement. However, some of them may experience haemoglobin deficiency during the later stages of pregnancy. This article talks about some of the top six ways to increase haemoglobin during pregnancy.
Best Ways to Improve Haemoglobin Level in Pregnancy
If the haemoglobin level is very low during pregnancy, you will be prescribed to take medicines and injections to pump up the haemoglobin level. But if the level of haemoglobin is not too low, a few changes in your diet plan and healthy exercises will help you to boost the haemoglobin level.
The following ways can be implemented to improve the level of haemoglobin during pregnancy:
Foods to Increase Haemoglobin
To increase the level of haemoglobin in pregnant women, including food sources which are rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, iron content, folic acid, etc. Here is a list of what to eat to increase haemoglobin during pregnancy:
1. Leafy Vegetable
Green vegetables, especially the leafy green ones are very rich in Iron. For example coriander, spinach, mint and fenugreek. These vegetables are also rich in other vitamins and nutrients essential for pregnancy.
2. Dry Fruits
Pulses add a good amount of iron and protein to a meal. Have them like salad, soup or add them to bread for good results. Peas, Lentils and beans have a good number of vitamins, minerals, fibre, iron and protein that makes a balanced diet for pregnant women.
Asparagus is rich in iron. A hot cup of asparagus soup can be consumed when heavy food choices are difficult to digest. You can also add sesame seeds in the soup for more iron content.
5. Fresh fruits
Eating fresh fruits like pomegranate and oranges are the best way to increase the level of haemoglobin during pregnancy. Pomegranates are very rich in iron content. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system of the body and in turn boost haemoglobin levels. Other fruits like Kiwi, peach, grapefruit, guava are also rich in iron.
6. Vegetables rich in Folic Acid
Folic acid is significantly involved in the production of haemoglobin. Vegetables like corn, banana, turnips, sprouts, avocado, lettuce, lady finger, etc. are very rich in folic acid.
7. Nettle Tea
Nettle is a herb that is a good source of Vitamin B, iron and vitamin C. It can play a major role in improving your haemoglobin level. Drink tea with the nutrients from nettle leaves twice daily to experience good results.
8. ABC Morning Smoothie
ABC stands for Apple, Beetroot and Carrot. This juice is an excellent Indian food to improve the level of haemoglobin during pregnancy.
Iron-rich seeds like pumpkin seeds, almond seeds and sunflower seeds help in improving the level of haemoglobin during pregnancy.
Some of the dietary supplements that can help in improving the level of haemoglobin are as follows:
- Deficiency of Folic acid and Vitamin B 12 might result in low level of haemoglobin. You might have to take a dietary supplement in this case.
- Supplements rich in Vitamin C will be needed to improve the body’s capacity to absorb iron.
Stimulating Red Blood Cells
- In some cases, chronic diseases might result in low haemoglobin levels. You might have to take iron pills and vitamins.
- There is an injection to increase haemoglobin during pregnancy. Synthetic erythropoietin injection helps in stimulating the production of Red Blood Cells. Synthetic Erythropoietin is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys.
Steroid treatment is prescribed when the mother’s own immune system forces to have a low level of haemoglobin. In this case, healthy RBCs are destroyed by the mother’s immunity cells. In such conditions, immune system suppressant is prescribed to the mother. This medical condition is known as Hemolytic Anaemia.
One of the methods how to increase haemoglobin naturally during pregnancy is by exercising. When you exercise, your body produces more haemoglobin to meet the increasing demand for oxygen. Hence, moderate intensity workouts are highly recommended. You should not do high-intensity workouts during pregnancy as these workouts can be injurious. You can also try pranayama postures like Shitali Pranayama, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, Kapalbharti Pranayama to improve your level of haemoglobin.
Avoid Iron Blockers
Try to avoid food that blocks your body’s capacity to absorb iron like tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, wine, especially if you have a low haemoglobin count.
Haemoglobin is responsible for the movement of oxygen throughout the body. Low levels of haemoglobin can cause weakness, fatigue and might even lead to anaemia. Hence, maintaining the proper level of haemoglobin during pregnancy is essential for the health of the mother and the baby.
Also Read: Thalasemmia during Pregnancy