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Anemia is a condition where your red blood cell count is too low. In pregnant women, this is often caused by not having enough iron in their blood. Anemia is common in pregnancy and is very easy to treat.

Anemia often has no symptoms. The only way to know for sure whether you have anemia is to get your blood tested. A simple test called a CBC (complete blood count) will be done at one of your first prenatal visits and then again later, at about weeks 26 to 28.

Eating foods high in iron and taking supplements can help you get the iron you need. Foods that are high in iron include:

  • Red meat, especially liver
  • Seafood (be sure it is fully cooked)
  • Tofu
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains and cereals
  • Dried fruits and nuts

In most cases, a prenatal vitamin can keep your iron content high. But if you need more, Dr. Dulaney may prescribe an iron supplement. Make sure you take your iron supplement with a fruit juice such as orange or cranberry juice. The vitamin C in these juices can help your body absorb iron. But don’t take your iron pills with juices that have calcium added to them because calcium can keep your body from absorbing the iron.

 

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