What is it?
Anaemia means you don’t have enough red blood cells in your blood. It’s often caused by low levels of iron. During pregnancy, your body can produce several litres of extra blood to support your growing baby. If you don’t have enough iron, your body may not have enough red blood cells needed to produce this extra blood.
Anaemia in pregnancy is common and treatable. The condition is diagnosed with blood tests which are usually taken at the beginning of pregnancy and again at 28 weeks. It’s important to treat anaemia in pregnancy so it doesn’t get more serious.
What will my GP do?
Your GP will:
- Talk to you about correcting your anaemia
- Check there was not a pre-existing cause of the anaemia
- Give you advice about how to take iron
- Talk to you about side effects of iron
- Discuss the health risks of low iron
- Give you resources to help you learn more about anaemia
- Arrange referrals if needed
Your GP may make a follow-up appointment to discuss:
- Medications you may need to change
- Treatment for any pre-existing health conditions
What can I do?
- Keep taking your medication – follow your GP’s advice
- Eat a healthy diet – with plenty of iron-rich foods – such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs and fortified grains
- Take your pregnancy vitamins – including folate
- Exercise regularly – like walking and swimming
- Get enough rest – aim for eight hours of sleep