You do not necessarily need iron supplements. Iron makes red blood cells for both you and your baby. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body to your organs and tissues, as well as to your baby.
In pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases by almost 50% and some women find that they are short of red blood cells. This is called anaemia and will be picked up when you have your routine antenatal blood tests.
If you’re anaemic, you may lack energy and feel very tired. If you are expecting twins you're more likely to be low in iron.
If your blood tests show that you are anaemic, your doctor or midwife will prescribe an iron supplement. If they do not show this there is no need to take the supplement.
What foods have iron?
Foods containing iron include:
- red meat
- oily fish
- pulses (peas, beans and lentils, for example)
- wholegrain or wholemeal breads
- green leafy vegetables and dried fruit
- some breakfast cereals have added iron.