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iron requirements increase during pregnancy (mother needs 1000 mg of elemental iron per fetus; this amount exceeds normal stores)

    • fetus (500 mg)
    • RBC mass (500 mg)
    • losses (200 mg)


  1. inadequate iron intake
  2. iron malabsorption
  3. bleeding, vaginal or other source
  4. multiple gestation
  5. concurrent antacid use (may prevent iron absorption)


  1. maternal: angina, CHF, infection, slower recuperation, preterm labour 
  2. fetal: decreased oxygen carrying capacity leading to fetal distress, IUGR, low birth weight and hydrops

  1. CBC, blood film, serum ferritin (changes in ferritin stores first sign of anemia)
  2. microcytic, hypochromic anemia with decreased ferritin
  3. morphology not good indicator because of RBC half life
  4. TIBC not reliable because increased during pregnancy
  1. Prevention  :

    • dietary iron and iron mobilized from stores insufficient to meet demands
    • adequate iron intake (30 mg elemental iron/day) for all women

  2. oral supplement of 200 mg/day of elemental iron if anemic
  3. monitor

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IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA Reviewed by Radiology Madeeasy on January 10, 2011 Rating: 5
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