It is not a general recommendation that all pregnant women should take an iron supplement during pregnancy as it is possible to get the iron you need from a healthy balanced diet.
Foods rich in iron include red meat, poultry, fish, green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, and foods fortified with iron such as breakfast cereals. Iron from non-meat foods needs the help of vitamin C-rich foods (such as fruits and fruit juices) to help its absorption by the body. You should aim to eat iron-rich foods twice daily.
Please note that although liver is a great source of iron too, it is not recommended during pregnancy as the vitamin A content of liver is too high.
If your healthcare professional recommends an iron supplement because you have low levels of iron in the blood, there are different forms and brands available in your pharmacy. Choose a form of iron supplement that best suits you – for example if you don’t like swallowing tablets then a liquid sachet of iron may be better for you. Make sure you only take the dose as recommended by your healthcare professional and always check with your pharmacist that the supplement is suitable to take during pregnancy. Some foods such as a high-fibre cereal, milk, tea and coffee, prevent the iron from supplements from being absorbed therefore it is best not to have these foods at the same time you are taking your iron supplement.