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 now?

Your GP will talk to you about your health and check for what may be causing your anaemia. They will give you advice about treating your anaemia while you are pregnant. This may include advice about how to take iron and the side effects you may have. Your GP will discuss the risks of anaemia while you are pregnant and refer you to a specialist if you need it.

What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP may make a follow-up appointment to discuss your treatment as well as any side effects you have. Your GP may also want to talk to you about keeping healthy through the rest of your pregnancy.

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