When your red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen to your body, you most likely have iron deficiency anemia, which means that your body doesn’t have enough iron to make hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries the oxygen. Anemia makes it hard to function because you’re tired and weak, and anemia during pregnancy is no different.
Anemia can happen during pregnancy because pregnant women need double the amount of iron than a nonpregnant woman would need. Since they’re growing another person inside them, they need more blood to get oxygen to the baby. The American Society of Hematology states that the amount of blood in your body increases about 30 percent when you become pregnant.
Another cause of anemia in pregnant women is a low-iron diet. When you’re pregnant, you’ll most likely have to increase your consumption of iron-rich foods or take a supplement with iron to prevent a deficiency. Thankfully, there are some signs that you’ll be more likely to become anemic while pregnant.