Anemia Can Be The Cause Of Not Gaining Baby Weight
Anemia is a health problem that should not be taken lightly because it can be experienced by anyone. This health problem can even be experienced by babies.
Anemia or less blood conditions can not be taken lightly. The reason is, blood has an important function for the health of the body. As explained by nutritionist Dr Rita Ramayulis, DCN, M.Kes, blood functions to carry oxygen and nutrients needed throughout the body, including to the brain.
“Blood in our body has a vital role. He is the one who brings oxygen to the brain, to the muscles, to our cells. He also carries nutrients,” explained Rita some time ago.
“Can you imagine, if a person lacks blood, it means that oxygen and nutrients don’t reach the brain, to the cells. So what happens? There will definitely be many disturbances,” he added.
Riskesdas 2018 data shows that as many as 38.5 percent of children under 5 years of age are anemic. Rita said the data illustrates national conditions, but if you look at it per region or district, the figure could be double the national data. To detect anemia, it is necessary to check hemoglobin levels.
“So the hemoglobin level indicates whether a person has iron deficiency anemia or not,” said Rita.
Signs of Anemia in Babies
There are several conditions that can be observed by parents that can be a sign that a baby or toddler has anemia.
First, said Rita, experiencing growth delays, namely the baby’s weight gain is not as it should be.
“If the baby is anemic, the growth will be late,” said Rita.
“So, the weight gain is not what it should be. It’s called a baby who gains weight every month. If the baby is anemic, he won’t gain weight,” he explained.
If not treated immediately, the late growing condition can eventually fail to thrive. This condition is also explained by Rita as the forerunner of stunting.
Other signs that a baby has anemia include looking paler, cranky, whiny, weak and looking like they have no energy. Babies who have anemia tend not to respond to the stimulation given.
Anemia in infants is caused by low intake of iron, protein and folic acid. All three are the main constituents of hemoglobin. Therefore mothers need to pay attention to the nutritional intake of their children. For babies who are still in the exclusive breastfeeding phase, mothers need to pay close attention to the iron content in breast milk and the frequency of breastfeeding.
Another reason babies can develop anemia is due to infection. Infection in ARI or gastrointestinal tract can cause the baby’s hemoglobin level to decrease.
“Because the infection will eat more iron, will use more folic acid, so it becomes less substance to build hemoglobin,” Rita explains.
In Indonesia, women with anemia have increased from year to year. The Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) noted that in 2013 the number was 37.1 percent, crawling up to 48.9 percent in 2018. With the proportion of anemia in the 15 to 24 year old and 25 to 34 year old age groups.
Seeing the condition of anemia that is still rampant in Indonesia, Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo reminded young brides not to be busy with pre-wedding but to forget the importance of paying attention to pre-conception.