In a sitdown interview with Zaa radio, a nutritionist, Mr. Michael Mensah, of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) hospital in Tamale revealed that during pregnancy the body produces more blood to support the growth of the baby, if you are not getting enough iron or certain other nutrients, your body might not be able to produce the amount of red blood cells it needs to make the additional blood, which can cause anemia. The condition, according to Mr. Mensah develops when the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin.
According to Mr Mensah, the causes of anemia during pregnancy can be likened to poor quality of diet, low consumption of iron in diet, malaria, sickle cell and other infections. He mentioned some of the symptoms as pale palms and eyes, dizziness, body weakness, getting tired easily, and palpitation, among others.
The nutritionist further stated that preventing anemia during pregnancy means the consumption of quality diet that provides all the iron that the body needs, eating a diet that has both animal and plant based protein as well as fruits rich in vitamin C and A, observing proper hygienic processes such as hand washing, preventing self -infection and ensuring that blood is not lost unnecessarily.
Since malaria is one of the leading causes of anemia, there is the need to first prevent malaria. Pregnant women, he added, are most vulnerable to anemia. Pregnant women, he said, should ensure that what they eat is able to provide all the nutrients needed by the body. He recommended the consumption of more vegetables. "
The Ghana health service is doing a lot to end anemia," he added. Mr Mensah stressed the need for pregnant women to go for Antenatal Care (ANC) until they deliver; they should also take their medications as prescribed by a midwife and also desist from caffeine products. Husbands, he stated, should see the need to support their wives through ANC visits.
BY: LILIAN WALTER DABORIKUU