Some women find it easier to tolerate liquid preparations and several of these are available.
When all these avenues fail, doctors have to assess the situation and decide whether the degree of deficiency and anaemia warrants giving iron in the form of injections.
Even though this route replenishes iron stores more efficiently and usually more quickly, it is associated with potential problems and is therefore not a suitable first choice.
Some people develop an allergic reaction to it (and therefore a test dose in hospital is an absolute prerequisite). Also, the injections have to be given deep in the muscle and are fairly painful. Moreover, there is a small risk of developing abscesses at the site of the injection. There is also the fact that each course will consist of many injections (at least ten) which have to be administered either daily or on alternate days. This is certainly not everybody's cup of tea and it is evident that the oral route is, in many respects, a great deal better.
If she is breast-feeding, the need for iron supplements is increased.
If she is a total vegetarian, where the diet may not supply adequate iron, supplements are strongly advised.
Every individual woman's needs should be assessed and advice given accordingly. As a general statement, haemoglobin levels will tend to rise in the days and weeks after delivery. However, this does not mean that the need for iron is diminished or eliminated.