Patient profile:

  • Rachel, 27 years old
  • Married
  • 30 weeks pregnant
  • Works full time

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited. We went and bought all the books and I made sure I took my pregnancy supplement regularly. Then the nausea started and I felt terrible. Trying to pretend everything was normal at work was exhausting too. At my first appointment with the midwife they took some blood to check my haemoglobin for anaemia and perform some tests for the baby. Although I was not officially anaemic, they told me my levels were border-line, so I should try and get more iron in my diet. After a few more weeks the nausea passed and I began to feel pretty good and enjoyed my growing tummy.

As I felt good and was busy planning for the baby, I didn’t always take my supplement, but I didn’t think it would really matter. After a while I started to feel more and more tired. I put it down to the pregnancy and tried to get as much rest as possible – but it was never enough. I found it hard to concentrate at work, but people would joke about ‘pregnancy brain’, so I thought it was just a normal way to feel while you are pregnant. To keep on top of things, I tried to be more organised and write lots of lists. I wanted to see my friends as much as possible before the baby came, but after work I just wanted to go home and put my feet up.

At my next check-up I mentioned feeling exhausted and the midwife checked my haemoglobin again. This time I was definitely anaemic, which is apparently very common during pregnancy. Because the anaemia was most likely caused by me not having enough iron, I am now on treatment for iron deficiency anaemia. The treatment has really helped and I am now more productive at work; I don’t feel as exhausted all the time. I’m excited again about the baby’s arrival and have the energy to plan for all the things he or she will need.