Obstetric Anaemia toolkit

Online maternal anaemia course available April 2020

Part 1 covers definitions of anaemia in pregnancy, symptoms, causes, and impact of anaemia; Part 2 covers screening and investigations, diet considerations, and treatment.

Identifying and correcting anaemia in the obstetric setting 

Anaemia in pregnancy is defined as first trimester haemoglobin (Hb) less than 110 g/l, second/third trimester Hb less than 105 g/l, and postpartum Hb less than 100 g/l. (1)

In 2016 the Patient Blood Management Team at NHSBT ran a pilot study in partnership with The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust to introduce a pathway for the management of Obstetric Anaemia. The objective of this project was to provide healthcare professionals with a clear and simple pathway for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of iron deficiency in pregnancy and the postpartum period using both oral and intravenous iron preparations as appropriate.

References: 1) Pavord S et al, British Journal of Haematology, 2012, 156, 588-600


This toolkit supports the implementation of the pathway in hospitals across the country. Where appropriate the resources have been published in a format that can be edited to suit local practices, but we do ask for them to be acknowledged to the PBM Obstetric Anaemia Project.

Management of obstetric anaemia (PPT) for obstetricians and midwives 

Data collection (XLS which requires macros to be enabled) and instructions to enable data collection and analysis for an audit/project

Poster - Iron deficiency anaemia for midwives 

Poster - Iron deficiency in pregnancy (PPT) for pregnant ladies

Poster - Use of IV iron in pregnancy (PPT) for midwives

Flowchart - Antenatal anaemia optimisation pathway (PDF) developed at The Royal Free NHS Hospitals for optimising antenatal anaemia

Sticker - for IV iron prescription (PDF) for use in patient notes

Poster - Labour Ward – lessons of the week (PDF) for display on labour wards

Obstetric IV iron prescription and administration guideline (PDF) developed at The Royal Free NHS Hospitals

Further information for obstetricians and midwives related to other areas of Patient Blood Management.