Mother & Child Health

Anaemia During Pregnancy

What causes anemia during pregnancy?

Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply — doubling your need for iron. If you don’t have enough iron stores or get enough iron during pregnancy, you could develop iron deficiency anemia.

How does anemia during pregnancy affect the baby?

Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy might increase the risk of a preterm delivery or a low birth weight baby.

What are the risk factors for anemia during pregnancy?

You are at increased risk of developing anemia during pregnancy if you:

  • Have two or more closely spaced pregnancies
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby
  • Are vomiting frequently due to morning sickness
  • Don’t consume enough iron
  • Have a heavy pre-pregnancy menstrual flow

What are the symptoms of anemia during pregnancy?

If you have a mild case of iron deficiency anemia, you might not notice any symptoms. However, if you have a moderate or severe case, you might:

  • Be excessively tired and weak
  • Become increasingly pale
  • Have heart palpitations
  • Be short of breath
  • Feel dizzy or lightheaded
  • Have cravings to eat nonfood items (pica), such as clay or cornstarch

Keep in mind that some anemia symptoms can be similar to general pregnancy symptoms.

Regardless of whether or not you have symptoms, you’ll have a blood test to screen for anemia during your first prenatal visit and usually once more during the course of the pregnancy. In addition, if you’re concerned about your level of fatigue or any other symptoms, consult your doctors.

How can anemia during pregnancy be prevented and treated?

Prenatal vitamins typically contain iron. Taking a prenatal vitamin that contains iron can help prevent and treat anemia during pregnancy. In some cases, your doctor might recommend a separate iron supplement. During pregnancy, you need 27 milligrams of iron a day.

Good nutrition can also prevent anemia during pregnancy. Dietary sources of iron include lean red meat, poultry and fish. Other options include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and vegetables.

The iron from animal products, such as meat, is most easily absorbed. To enhance the absorption of iron from plant sources and supplements, pair them with a food or drink high in vitamin C — such as orange juice, tomato juice or strawberries. If you take iron supplements with orange juice, avoid the calcium-fortified variety. Although calcium is an essential nutrient during pregnancy, calcium can decrease iron absorption.

How is anemia during pregnancy treated?

If you are taking a prenatal vitamin that contains iron and you are anemic, your doctor might recommend testing to determine other possible causes. In some cases, you might need to see a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders (hematologist). If the cause is iron deficiency, additional supplemental iron may be suggested. If you have a history of gastric or small bowel surgery or are unable to tolerate oral iron, you might need intravenous iron administration.


Mother & Child Health


Advantage Of Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases.
  • Breastfeeding provides health benefits for mother.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed.
  • It’s the right temperature.
  • It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
  • It can give you a great sense of achievement.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for your baby:

  • Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Fewer chest and ear infections and fewer visits to hospital.
  • Less chance of being constipated.
  • Less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses later in life.

Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for mother:

Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit your baby. It benefits your health too. Breastfeeding is good for mother as it:

  • Lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Naturally uses up to 500 calories a day.
  • Saves money – infant formula, the sterilising equipment and feeding equipment can be costly.
  • Can help to build a strong bond between you and your baby.

Exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of your periods.

Proper positioning techniques for breastfeeding

The mother must:

  • Hold the baby so that he/she is facing the nipple.
  • Keep your fingers away from the area to be drawn into the baby’s mouth, allowing the baby to draw in the entire nipple and as much of the areola as possible.
  • Press your fingers slightly towards your ribs to keep the nipple extended as much as possible.
  • Guide and insert the areola by centering the nipple in the baby’s mouth and pointing it toward the top back section of the baby’s mouth.
  • Hold the baby in close to your body.

The baby must:

  • Face the mother’s body.
  • Open his/her mouth wide (like a big yawn.)
  • Draw the nipple in to the upper back part of his mouth.
  • Place his gums beyond the nipple, taking in as much of the areola as possible.
  • Have his tongue out, over his lower gum, “cradling” the nipple and areola.


Mother & Child Health

Child Development Stage

Developement Stage of a Child

Stage Motor Development
2 Months Smiles at the sound of your voice and follows you with their eyes around the room.
3 Months Raises head and chest when lying on stomach.
Grasps objects. Smiles at other people.
4 Months Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds.
Holds head steady.
6 Months Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back.
Moves objects in hands.
7 Months Responds to own name.
Finds partially hidden toys and household items.
9 Months Sits without support, crawls, babbles, starts to say mom and dad’s name.
12 Months Walks with or without support.
Says at least one word.
Starts copying other people.
18 Months Walks independently, drinks from a cup, says a few words, and points to body parts.
2 Years Runs and jumps.
Speaks in two-word sentences.
Follows simple instructions.
Begins make-believe play.
3 Years Climbs
Speaks in multiword sentences.
Sorts objects by shape and color.
4 Years Gets along with people outside the family.
Draws circles and squares.
Rides a tricycle.
5 Years Tells name and address.
Jumps, hops, and skips.
Gets dressed
Counts 10 or more objects.


Mother & Child Health

Common Complications of Pregnancy

What are some common complications of pregnancy?

Some women experience health problems during pregnancy. These complications can involve the mother’s health, the fetus, or both. Even women who were healthy before getting pregnant can experience complications. These complications make the pregnancy a high-risk pregnancy.

Getting early and regularprenatal care can help decrease the risk for problems by enabling health care providers to diagnose, treat, or manage conditions before they become serious.

Some common complications of pregnancy include, but are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm labor
  • Pregnancy loss

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when arteries carrying blood from the heart to the body organs are narrowed. This causes pressure to increase in the arteries. In pregnancy, this can make it hard for blood to reach the placenta, which provides nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. Reduced blood flow can slow the growth of the fetus and place the mother at greater risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman who didn’t have diabetes before pregnancy develops the condition during pregnancy.


Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that can lead to premature delivery. Its cause is unknown, but some women are at an increased risk. Risk factors include

  • First pregnancies
  • Preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
  • Existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Being 35 years of age or older
  • Carrying two or more fetuses
  • Obesity

Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is labor that begins before 37 weeks of gestation. Any infant born before 37 weeks is at an increased risk for health problems, in most cases because organs such as the lungs and brain finish their development in the final weeks before a full-term delivery (39 to 41 weeks).

Pregnancy Loss/Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the term used to describe a pregnancy loss from natural causes before 20 weeks. Signs can include vaginal spotting or bleeding, cramping, or fluid or tissue passing from the vagina. However, bleeding from the vagina does not mean that a miscarriage will happen or is happening. Women experiencing this sign at any point in their pregnancy should contact with the doctor.

The loss of pregnancy after the 20th week of gestation is called a stillbirth. In approximately half of all reported cases, doctors can find no cause for the loss. However, health conditions that can contribute to stillbirth include chromosomal abnormalities, placental problems, poor fetal growth, chronic health issues of the mother, and infection.


Mother & Child Health

Common Signs of Pregnancy

What are some common signs of pregnancy?

The primary sign of pregnancy is missing a menstrual period or two or more consecutive periods, but many women experience other symptoms of pregnancy before they notice a missed period.

Missing a period does not always mean a woman is pregnant.Menstrual irregularities are common and can have a variety of causes,including taking birth controll pills,conditions such as diabetis and polycystic ovary syndrome, eating disorders, excessive exercise, and certain medications. Women who miss a period should visit her doctor to find out whether they are pregnant or whether they have a specific health problem.

Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman. A woman may experience every common symptom, just a few, or none at all. Some signs of early pregnancy include

  • Slight bleeding. One study shows as many as 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding or spotting that is lighter in color than normal menstrual blood.This typically occurs at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg (about 6 to 12 days after conception) but is common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Tender, swollen breasts or nipples. Women may notice this symptom as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Hormonal changes can make the breasts sore or even tingly. The breasts feel fuller or heavier as well.
  • Many women feel more tired early in pregnancy because their bodies are producing more of a hormone called progesterone, which helps maintain the pregnancy and encourages the growth of milk-producing glands in the breasts. In addition, during pregnancy the body pumps more blood to carry nutrients to the fetus. Pregnant women may notice fatigue as early as 1 week after conception.
  • The sudden rise of hormones may trigger headaches early in pregnancy.
  • Nausea or vomiting. This symptom can start anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks after conception and can continue throughout pregnancy. Commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” it can actually occur at any time during the day.
  • Food cravings or aversions. Sudden cravings or developing a dislike of favorite foods are both common throughout pregnancy. A food craving or aversion can last the entire pregnancy or vary throughout this period.
  • Mood swings. Hormonal changes during pregnancy often cause sharp mood swings. These can occur as early as a few weeks after conception.
  • Frequent urination. The need to empty the bladder more often is common throughout pregnancy. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which increases blood flow to the pelvic region, causing women to have to urinate more often.

Many of these symptoms can also be a sign of another condition, the result of changing birth control pills, or stress, and thus they do not always mean that a woman is pregnant. Women should visit her doctor if they suspect they are pregnant.