Rotunda Private

How to Increase Your Iron Intake

The clinics are staffed by the same consultants who provide a state of the art women’s health service in the main Rotunda Hospital, which is the oldest working maternity hospital in the world, with a renowned reputation for excellence.

How to Increase Your Iron Intake

Iron is important for healthy blood and you need extra iron during pregnancy. You can improve your levels of iron by eating foods high in iron every day. Eating a diet that has lots of iron rich foods should be enough for most women.

If you don’t have enough iron in your diet you can get anaemia or low levels of iron in your blood. If you are anaemic, you may feel tired, short of breath and have no energy. Your baby could also be anaemic at birth.

How to Increase Your Iron Intake

Foods That Contain Iron

Try to include one meat/fish source of iron every day:

  • Beef / corned beef / lamb or mutton / pork
  • Salmon / Tuna – up to 280 grams (drained) a week / Sardines


Try to also include one or more of these good iron sources with each meal:

  • Eggs
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Iron fortified breakfast cereals: Bran Flakes, All-Bran, Ready Brek
  • Dark green leafy vegetables: cabbage, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, broccoli
  • Beans: kidney, chick peas, baked beans, peas, or pulses like lentils
  • Dried fruit: apricots, raisins, sultanas, prunes

Avoid alcohol (wine, beer or spirits). No amount of alcohol is considered safe in pregnancy.

How to Increase Your Iron Intake

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps you absorb iron found in non-meat sources. Take good vitamin C sources daily:

  • Orange juice or vitamin C fortified fruit juice
  • Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or limes
  • Strawberries, melon, or kiwi fruit
  • Green, red, or yellow peppers
  • Fresh tomatoes

If your iron level is still low after eating more iron rich foods, then your doctor may prescribe iron supplements for you. It is best to take these without food or milk. Take your iron tablet and any medications you have been prescribed at least two hours apart. Wait 30 to 60 minutes after a meal to drink tea, as tea can reduce the amount of iron you can absorb. Iron supplements can stop some blood pressure medications or thyroid medications from working properly.