As mentioned in a previous article, pregnancy is a very special state. And the things a woman must pay attention to are many.
One of these is the hematocrit level.
The hematocrit is an evaluation value of peripheral blood, which indicates the relationship between blood volume and the corpuscular elements, which are white blood cells , red blood cells and platelets.
Generally, during pregnancy , the woman undergoes a lowering of hemoglobin, which is why we speak of low hematocrit in pregnancy.
The pregnant woman during the months of gestation undergoes various tests, including that of the hematocrit.
These tests are of fundamental importance to establish the state of health of the woman and the fetus and to check that everything goes on in the best way.
Blood values can change during pregnancy, by virtue of the transformations that the body undergoes, but some changes are real alarm bells that must be carefully considered.
A common phenomenon that occurs in the last three months of gestation is that of hypervolemia, that is, the increase in the volume of blood circulating, which prepares the woman for the amount of fluids she will lose when she gives birth to the baby.
In most cases, therefore, the low hematocrit is only an apparent parameter , because in reality the amount of red blood cells remains the same.
If, on the other hand, the amount of corpuscles in the blood is really low, then you have a case of anemia in pregnancy
Low hematocrit values can correspond to low hemoglobin (anemia): hemoglobin is considered low in pregnancy if it is less than 11 grams per 100 ml during the first trimester, and slightly less in the following months.
Where you have hemoglobin mass during pregnancy, doctors recommend eating red meat, poultry, fish, egg yolk, avoiding egg white which can block the absorption of iron.
In fact, in physiological cases of low hematocrit, the remedy is first of all food, and the diet that the doctor sets for the case must be followed.
You should also avoid legumes and foods that contain a lot of fiber and polyphenols, such as tea and coffee, which can limit the absorption of the mineral.
Vitamin C is essential in case of low hematocrit and should be taken in large quantities.
In addition, attention must be paid to cooking vegetables, because most of the iron is lost when cooked. The best solution is to eat steamed vegetables, a hypothesis for which the loss of the mineral is around 50%.
If, on the other hand, it is suspected that it is the iron that is low, then it is necessary to take action because low iron can have harmful consequences on the fetus.
In some cases, the causes of low hematocrit in gestation are other: haemolytic anemia, liver cirrhosis, bleeding, marrow aplasia, renal failure, or even more serious problems.
It is always the physician’s task to evaluate which hypothesis is due to the low hematocrit in gestation, because if in most cases it is a physiological lowering and therefore should not cause concern (at most, as mentioned, nutrition can be supplemented) in other cases it is good to investigate more thoroughly because the causes could be other.