Summary Objective To find out the relationship between maternal anaemia and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Method A cohort of 629 pregnant women was studied from October 2001 to October 2002. Of these, 313 were anaemic (haemoglobin <11 g/dl in labour and on two previous occasions in current pregnancy). A total of 316 women had haemoglobin >11 g/dl at all times in pregnancy and were labelled as non-anaemic. Perinatal outcomes included preterm delivery, low birth weight (LBW) at delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, perinatal mortality, APGAR score at 1 and 5 min, intrauterine foetal demise (IUD). Results The risk of preterm delivery and LBW among exposed group was 4 and 1.9 times higher among anaemic women, respectively. Newborns of anaemic mothers had 1.8 times increased risk of having an APGAR score of <5 at 1 min and the risk of IUD was 3.7 times higher for anaemic women. Conclusion Low maternal haemoglobin levels are associated with increased risk of preterm delivery, LBW babies, APGAR score <5 at 1 min and IUD.