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FEELING tired, sick, irritable, weak or having shortness of breath are common pregnancy complaints. Women are often told to ignore these symptoms as they are considered part of the hormonal and bodily changes during pregnancy. But these conditions may indicate iron deficiency anaemia.
In a workshop organised by Merck Consumer Healthcare recently, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Premitha Damodaran, said women should always ensure their blood is healthy by conducting a blood test when they plan to conceive as well as during pregnancy and four to six weeks after delivery.
“It is recommended that they talk to their doctors and assess the level of haemoglobin in their bodies prior to pregnancy. Unfortunately, most of the time, women only consult their doctors after they are pregnant and by the time their blood test is done, most are found to be suffering from mild anaemia.
“Many women begin their pregnancy without sufficient iron to meet their body’s increased demands for it, leading to iron deficiency anaemia, which continues even after delivery. If not identified and treated, it can lead to severe complications like miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight and increased maternal mortality,” she said.
With one in every three pregnant women suffering from iron deficiency anaemia in Malaysia, this condition is more common than most women are aware of. Those who are at the highest risk of iron deficiency anaemia after pregnancy include those who have experienced excessive blood loss during delivery, women who have experienced multiple births and those who are breast-feeding.
It is estimated that a woman requires approximately 50 per cent more iron during pregnancy. To boost iron supplies when trying to conceive or during pregnancy and breast-feeding, women are encouraged to increase intake of iron-rich foods such as poultry, green leafy vegetables, nuts, liver, whole grains and dried fruits.
PANTAI Hospital Kuala Lumpur is now offering mammogram tests, subsidised by the National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia until July. For details, call Breast Care Centre at 03-2296 0837 or visit www.pantai.com.my
Talk on sexuality and women’s cancers
THE National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) is organising a talk on Sexuality and Women’s Cancers this Saturday at the NCSM building in Kuala Lumpur. The talk will be conducted by consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Shamala Devi Karalasingam. Call Adeline / Mila at 03-2698 7300 or email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your favourite ice-cream?
COLGATE is hosting a Malaysia ice-cream fest at 1Utama Shopping Centre from tomorrow to May 20.
The public will be given an opportunity to taste and vote for their favourite ice-cream, Malaysian style, by filling up and freezing plastic tubes with a variety of uniquely Malaysian flavours. The five flavours are Jagung, Sirap Bandung, Durian, Kacang Merah, and Cendol.
The winning flavour will be revealed in conjunction with the launch of its latest Sensitive Pro Relief toothpaste variant.