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17-20 weeks

You are almost halfway through your pregnancy at this stage - your baby is growing quickly, developing eyelashes and fingerprints, and you may start to feel it move around!
 

Tiredness

Tiredness and difficulty sleeping is common at this stage, as you may find it hard to get comfortable at night. Tiredness in pregnancy could also be linked to a lack of iron. Iron is needed during pregnancy for the blood supply to your growing baby so it is important to eat plenty of foods high in iron to prevent deficiency, which can lead to your baby having a low birth weight.

Some groups of women may have a higher risk of iron deficiency if their intake of iron was low before becoming pregnant, such as young women and those on a vegetarian or vegan diet. These women may have to take iron supplements. Your iron levels will be tested during pregnancy and you will be advised if you need to take supplements or boost the amount of iron needed from your diet.

Iron is found in red meat, pulses (such as lentils and beans), eggs, bread, green vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli), dried fruit (e.g. apricots) and fortified foods like breakfast cereals. There are certain things in the diet that can affect how much iron is absorbed from your food. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from plant sources, so having a glass of fruit juice with a meal can help you get the most from your food. On the other hand, tea and coffee can stop your body absorbing iron, so try not to drink them with meals.
 


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