Why take part in PANDA?
What is anaemia?
Anaemia is when the body does not have enough red blood cells. The most common cause of anaemia is a lack of iron.
Anaemia is common in pregnancy because the woman, baby and placenta need 10 times more iron than normal to stay healthy and grow.
How can anaemia affect pregnancy?
A third of pregnant women in the UK can have anaemia. However, anaemia can be difficult to spot and treat effectively once it develops.
Research suggests that pregnant women with anaemia have a higher risk of having small babies that have failed to grow properly, babies that are born too early (prematurely) and stillbirths.
Affected women can also experience a variety of symptoms from tiredness, lethargy, shortness of breath, palpitations, and forgetfulness. Mothers who are anaemic on average have a higher blood loss at the time of giving birth and need more blood transfusions as well as surgery to stop the bleeding.
What is the aim of this study?
It may be better to prevent anaemia in pregnancy than treat it once it develops.
One way to do this is for women to take iron supplements in their second trimester. Whilst we know that iron supplements are safe for women to take during pregnancy, we don’t yet know if giving iron to prevent anaemia works and how much iron needs to be taken to make a difference.
PANDA will help answer the question of whether all pregnant women should be advised to take iron supplements during pregnancy.
Why should I take part?
If successful, we think that many cases of maternal anaemia will be prevented, which will benefit women, babies and the health services.
By taking part in PANDA you will be helping to shape the way that millions of women experience pregnancy in the future.