Anemia In Newborn

What is anaemia?

Anaemia is characterised by an abnormally low red blood cell count and can be caused by a number of factors. Prematurity, destruction of red blood cells, inadequate production of red blood cells, and blood loss can all contribute to anaemia in newborns. In addition, a decrease in haemoglobin (Hb) immediately after birth can lead to a range of degrees of anaemia. Iron is required for the formation of haemoglobin, a protein that allows red blood cells to transport oxygen to other cells in the body.

What are the common symptoms of anaemia?

Some of the common symptoms of anaemia in newborns include:

  • Paleness of skin
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • A display of sluggishness, low energy, or fatigue
  • Signs of increased heart rate and intense or rapid breathing when resting
  • Swollen or sore tongue
  • An enlarged spleen
  • Desire to eat dirt or ice

What are the causes of anaemia?

Anaemia occurs in newborns for a variety of reasons.

  • Less production of red blood cells: It is common for babies to experience some degree of anaemia in their first few months of life, known as physiological anaemia. This occurs due to the baby's body growing rapidly and the production of red blood cells not yet being able to keep up with the rate of growth. A lack of new red blood cells is the primary cause of this anaemia in infants.
  • Low Iron Intake in Diet: Infants and young children are reliant on the nutrients found in their diet for iron intake. Unfortunately, the body only absorbs a limited amount of the iron consumed from food, and much of it goes unused. Infants of mothers with anaemia or other medical issues may not have built up sufficient stores of iron, while premature babies may not have had the time to accumulate enough.
  • Incompatible Blood Group: Rh/ABO incompatibility is when the mother's and baby's blood groups do not match. This problem can lead to the breakdown of red blood cells at a faster rate than normal, resulting in jaundice and, in some cases, anaemia due to infections or inherited genetic disorders.
  • Premature Birth: Prematurity is a condition in which infants are born earlier than full term, and it is associated with a lower number of red blood cells and a shortened life span of those red blood cells. This is known as anaemia of prematurity, and if it is not treated, it can have both short- and long-term consequences for the baby's health.


When to see a doctor?

Some signs of anaemia can be easily observed in newborns. You can be vigilant for early physiological symptoms in babies, which can be confirmed by laboratory tests and a medical opinion from a qualified medical professional. You can request an appointment easily at Apollo Fertility for a consultation by calling 1860 500 4424.

How can anaemia in newborns be treated?

Iron-fortified formula can meet the requirements of the recommended iron intake for newborns. If you are breastfeeding your baby, however, it is advisable to speak with a medical professional regarding iron supplementation. Iron supplementation may include iron drops at a specific dosage or as part of a multivitamin supplement.

For infants, it is recommended to start iron supplements around the age of 4 months and continue the supplement until they are eating iron-rich foods, such as iron-fortified cereal, at least three to four servings per day. If you are breastfeeding your baby and giving them iron-fortified formula, and the formula is a big part of their diet, you should stop giving them the supplement.

For premature infants, it is advised to introduce iron supplements at 2 weeks of age and continue until 1 year old. Again, you can stop giving the supplement if formula makes up most of their feedings and you are still breastfeeding.

Anaemia in newborns can be detected based on the presence of symptoms. It can also be easily treated, as there are several ways to cope with iron deficiency in babies.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Jayanagar. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Is anemia in newborns easy to manage?

Many different treatments ensure that anemia can be effectively diagnosed and treated, irrespective of the infant's age.

2. What are the common signs of anemia?

Pale skin, tiredness, napping more than usual, and yellowing of the eyes or skin are some of the symptoms of anemia.

3. How can I prevent anemia in my newborn?

Breastfeeding and formula that is supplemented with iron work best against anemia.

4. Are there any complications related to anemia in infants?

If anemia is not treated in newborns, there could be delayed growth and developmental issues.

5. Is there a special age group that is at risk?

Premature babies, babies with low birth weight, and babies whose diet doesn't have iron-fortified formula are exposed to the risk of developing anemia.

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