Third trimester: Those final months
Pregnancy comes with its own challenges and the third trimester is particularly tricky! During this time, the body mass index increases and women can get slightly anemic. Since the expecting mother is now taking care for two she will need more red blood cells. Red blood cells house hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the rest of the body. A drop in red blood cell production causes the body to become anemic.
Eating right is essential to feeling good and staying strong. Healthy food and stress free exercises can help prevent diseases like anemia. Anemia presents itself when you have an iron deficiency. Eating iron rich foods like green veggies, fruits, fish, chicken and fortified grains (which are rich in folic acid), is a great way to stay healthy. Mild exercises like swimming, running, and cycling are also known to improve blood circulation without risk to the mother.
Anemia is not a rare occurrence during pregnancy. A study shows that out of a sample of 1000 mothers admitted in a hospital for delivery around 50 % were anemic at some point of pregnancy while 37% were anemic throughout! Babies born to severely anemic mothers can have lower body weight as compared to babies born to women who have little to no anemia at some point of pregnancy. If mothers are anemic in the second or third trimesters, they are more likely to have preterm babies. Unfortunately, a large chunk of anemic women come from the Indian subcontinent. Even some Southeast Asian countries report a major percentage of anemic pregnancy. The reasons are obvious; malnourishment, lack of healthcare facilities but most of all it is ignorance about the matter.
For expecting mothers, the third trimester can be a mixed time of tribulation and exhilaration. The third trimester marks the final leg of your journey!; the journey to motherhood! Eat right and exercise as instructed by your physician. Promise good health, good spirits, and of course lots of love to yourself, your child and the world around you.