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What can increase the risk of developing anemia during pregnancy?

Poor nutrition increases your risk of developing anemia, especially if you have multiple vitamin deficiencies. Smoking also increases your risk because it reduces your body's ability to absorb important nutrients. Conversely, smokers may not show the usual laboratory signs of anemia, because nicotine replaces hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Yet these women's bodies are starved for oxygen, which stimulates the body to produce extra red blood cells, hurting the baby's nutrition. Excess alcohol consumption also increases your risk for anemia because it is associated with poor nutrition. Other conditions and medications may place you at risk for anemia. Your healthcare provider will discuss these with you if needed.

If you are anemic, your healthcare professional may prescribe iron and folic acid supplements, recommend dietary changes and urge you to increase rest.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.