Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.