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Increasing iron intake may benefit pregnant women

Taking iron daily during pregnancy is associated with a significant increase in birth weight and a reduction in risk of low birth weight, according to UK and US researchers.

Their study, published online in the BMJ, analysed the results of over 90 studies, involving nearly two million women.

For every 10mg increase in iron dose per day – up to 66 mg per day – risk of maternal anaemia was 12% lower, birth weight increased by 15g and risk of low birth weight decreased by 3%.

Janet Fyle, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said serious iron deficiency tended to affect low income countries.

But she added: “Ensuring that pregnant women have the optimum level of iron is important, so this research is useful. There is an expectation that some women’s haemoglobin levels may drop a little during pregnancy and this is normal.”

 

Readers' comments (6)

  • OK so Im an oldie but this is reinventing the wheel. My 1st pregnancy was in 1968 and on my 1st visit to the GPI was given a prescription for Iron tablets and folic acid tablets.
    The GPs then may be thought of as being almost uneducated but they knew their job and patients benefited from it

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  • when i did my three months obstetrics in the mid 70s pregnant women were always reccommended iron. I had always understood it was essential. what changed between then and now?

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  • Anyone remember Dr Finlay's Casebook (TV prog, screened '62 - 71, set in the 1920's) when pregnant women were encouraged to eat raw liver? Not recommended today, but it was all about the iron!

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  • B R | 28-Jun-2013 0:46 am

    ah, but he was a good and wise doctor, as well as being kind and caring. perhaps we should follow more of his advice!

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  • I am an oldie too! Have had three children and prescribed iron tablets at the start, also advised to consume anything that contained iron in my diet! As always with the NHS we go around in a circle!!!

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  • what worries me is between the good old days and this new revelation what was the advice given to mothers to be and their iron intake in the meantime?

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