Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Changes

Pregnancy causes immense changes in a women’s cardiovascular system. A pregnant women’s blood volume increases by 40-50%, but the number of red blood cells increased by only 20-30% creating the anemia of pregnancy. Varicose veins may develop due to pressure from the enlargiong uterus and hormone induced relocation of the veins and special demands are plkaced upon the mother’s heart during pregnancy. Progesterone cause blood vessels to relax, giving them increased elasticity and facilitating circulation.
During the last half of pregnancy the body makes more red blood cells in order to supply emough for mother and baby. Every red blood cells use iron as its core. Insufficient iron make fewer red blood cells which is called Anemia. Baby needs a nutrient called folate to make helathy blood cells. Folate is easily absorbed and found in most green vegetables.
Red blood cells are rthe cells that circulate in the blood plasma (fluid) and give blood its red colour. It has been calculated that the blood volume increases approximately 50% during the pregnancy although the plasma amount is disproportionately greeater.
In order to have sufficient red blood cells for the foetus the body starts to produce more red cells and plasma.
Pre/Post Natal Student
May 2013

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