When you get pregnant, the amount of blood circulating through your body increases. You will have around percent more than before you conceived your baby. The protein that transports oxygen to your other cells, hemoglobin, is also present in your body more than before. Iron is essential for hemoglobin, and that is why you need more iron while you are gestating your baby. In addition, your growing baby and its placenta also need iron. Simply said, you require more iron while you are pregnant.
Anemia can be caused by an iron deficiency but it is not the only cause. It is not common knowledge that anemia can be caused by a shortage of Vitamin B12 or folic acid, and even by certain blood disorders. No matter what the cause, anemia will leave you feel weak and tired all day long if it is severe enough. The usual treatment of anemia is Iron tablets, though whether it will work depends on the cause of your anemia. Pregnancy anemia is normally diagnosed through blood tests, which are a routine part of prenatal care. You can read more about that process in our article about prenatal care why blood tests are carried out.
In terms of anemia prevention, the best you can do is to make sure you eat healthy. Pay attention to diet and make sure that you eat foods that are rich in iron, Vitamin B12 and folate, which is the natural equivalent of folic acid. Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to get all of that from diet alone. But, for this to work your diet would have to be pretty perfect. You can always take good prenatal supplements.