I'm not sure why you choose the liver forum to ask this question since a blood disorder forum or a genetisist would be more informative but here goes.
First you need to know that since your husband doesn't carry the defective gene that causes this anemia you baby has a goood chance of not having the disorder. Usually weak and/or defective resessive genes appear when both parents are carriers and even then they don't always pass on...so that's the good news.
Again the GOOD news is you have made it into your 20's, and babies with more than one defective gene usually expire before or soon after birth. So again since you almost surely have the mild form, chances are very good that your child would only get this in a mild form if at all. Your doctor, or a genetisist could answer this best.
More good news is that the baby doesn't inherit it's blood type from the mother but from the father. Often the baby will have a totally different type from the mother, but this doens;t hurt the fetus or mother in utero due to the placental barrier. The plactenta keeps the mother and fetal blood separate while passing oxygen and nutrion to the child.
Some genes are inherited of course, from each of you so I'm not sure what the statistics are here on which parent most influences the marrow genetics.
But, for all these reasons, I would not be too worried.
You could have amneocentesis and genetic testing of the baby, but this does pose risks to you and the child. Amneocentesis can injure the child and lead to spontanneous miscarriage in some cases. It is done very carefully of course, but any sudden movement of the child can be problematic. You need to talk to your doctor at length about this. I don't think this should be neccesary since the liklihood is small that you'd pass this on, but if you were the anxiety prone type the doc might do it. Of course, then the decision would be do I keep the baby if it has this. Since you have had a good life, one would hope you would celebrate even a less than perfect child. Were the child to have the severe type, then a real sorrow could ensue. Sometimes not knowing, and hoping for the best is better than facing such a gut wrencher. My advice is too not focus on worst case scenarios and to Avoid worry and stress as those hormones do pass into the baby. Besides you don't even know if it even possible for this to happen yet, right?
As far as your anemia goes, you need to really eat a healthy diet. Even though you do not have iron defienct anemia but low hemoglobin, your diet is still what gives your marrow the chance to make good blood cells so eliminating pop and junk foods and replacing them with vitamin and mineral rich foods will help.
You could also talk to your doctor about a drug called epogen (procrit) or about transfusion if the pregnancy weakens you too much. Each of these options carries some risk as well as expense, but they may be neccessary in some cases.
Mild exercise can help stimulate better production of new blood cells and its good for you, and the baby, it adds to both your oxygen supplys and improves circulation, and most importantly it stimulates good rest and something called growth hormone which your brain makes naturally and which tells your marrow to mae more blood cells so I would try these methods before resorting to the others above. A nice walk everyday will do you both a world of good in other words.
I would definitely recommend you get regular blood checks, learn what all symptoms to watch for with thalasssemia, a monthly blood check at minimum, but watch for symptoms because pregnacy does take a toll. Some tireness is to be expected with every pregnancy though. Still get your rest, naps are good too, and get a consult with a blood disorder specialist and keep him/her on board during your pregnancy. This may give you more peace of mind and head off any issue your GP might miss. Insist on a referal if your insurance requires it. They are supposed to provide one if you have the condition, but NOT if you don't ask or press it, in that case many will just watch it themselves. (you asking changes things since covering their butts against malpractice is involved)
Alas the one sour note is some babies born with the worst form of this don't live long, but again I doubt you have this form since you are 20. Babies with 2 or more faulty genes either die young or in utero, but how your baby could get this when you have the mild form and dad is healthy...the odds are probably zero, but again, do check with a specialist, I am not a doctor or an authority.
congratulations on your baby, and remember many mother face some sort of challenge or risk with pregnancy, most make it through just fine so try to not stress out too much, just calmly proceed to get more answers from your docs and continue to educate yourself.
hope that helped, merrybe
If you've just found out now that you have thalassemia, then I would say you have thalassemia minor - same as me. Try not to worry. I have had two children and had no major problems. Normal pregancies as well. One of my daughters is a carrier and the other isnt. Thalassemia hasn't really caused me any problems in life -- i've just always had low hb levels. You learn to cope with that because you don't know any different. Iron supplements will not improve thalassemia either and I was told not to take them. Take direction from your doctor on what to do about it. During pregnancy, I took folic acid as directed by my doctor. Relax and don't worry about this. As Merrybe said, have a healthy diet and talk to your doctor.
All the best