Anemia is most often caused by low iron or vitamin B levels in the blood. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body expands by about 50 percent, so you need extra iron to prevent anemia. According to the BabyCenter.com, you will need a significantly higher amount of iron during your pregnancy: at least 27 milligrams as opposed to the usual 18 milligrams a day for a non-pregnant woman. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that pre-pregnancy anemia is a significant factor in stillbirths and miscarriages, so it is important to get iron levels up to standard before trying to get pregnant.
Take a prenatal vitamin supplement every day--even before you get pregnant. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that too little iron is linked to premature birth and low birth weight, so it is important to take a supplement that contains an adequate amount of iron.
Take extra Vitamin C. Your body needs Vitamin C to absorb and properly use iron, so take 1,000 milligrams (at least) every day. If you feel a cold coming on, you may take more to help your body heal from mild illnesses faster.
Add an infusion or capsule of the herbal supplement nettle leaves to your diet. Nettle leaves are an excellent uterine tonic and provide high amounts of iron and calcium to women. Drink an infusion of nettle tea should three times a day while you are trying to get pregnant, or take a nettle leaf supplement capsule as directed by your alternative health care provider.
Take a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every day while you are preparing for pregnancy and after you are pregnant. A spoonful of blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of iron and B vitamins; mix it in a glass of orange juice if you find the flavor too overpowering. You may also mix molasses into baked goods, marinades and salad dressings.
Improve your diet by adding iron rich foods before you actually get pregnant. The March of Dimes recommends increasing your intake of poultry, dried fruits, oatmeal, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and peas. Eating these foods on a regular basis while you are trying to get pregnant will lessen the possibility of problems during a pregnancy.