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Iron deficiency anemia means that you don't have enough iron in your blood. You need even more iron when you are pregnant to make the extra blood you need for your baby to grow.
Without enough iron, you may feel weak and sick. Your skin may look pale. Low iron can cause problems when you give birth. And you may have a higher risk for problems after you have the baby. Having anemia in pregnancy may make it more likely to have your baby early (preterm birth). Or your baby may have a low birth weight. Treating iron deficiency early in your pregnancy lowers these risks and decreases the chance of having more serious anemia after your baby is born.
When you’re pregnant, it can be hard to get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat. Eat a variety of foods and take a daily prenatal vitamin supplement with iron, folic acid, and vitamin D.
Eating iron-rich foods and taking a daily prenatal vitamin can lower your risk of developing anemia. Eat foods with iron every day:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
For more information about iron deficiency and iron-rich foods go to:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor, midwife, or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter W621 in the search box to learn more about "Iron Deficiency Anemia During Pregnancy: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 9/14/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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