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Is iron deficiency anemia common during pregnancy?

Iron deficiency anemia is a substantial concern among pregnant women, with studies consistently reporting its prevalence. According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the global prevalence of anemia during pregnancy was estimated to be 38.2%, with iron deficiency being the leading cause.

Implications of IDA during pregnancy:

Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can have significant implications for maternal health and fetal development. Maternal consequences include increased fatigue, reduced physical performance, and higher susceptibility to infections.

Moreover, iron deficiency anemia has been associated with adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in infants.

How to prevent IDA during pregnancy:

To prevent and manage iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy, healthcare providers recommend routine screening for anemia and appropriate supplementation as needed.

It is essential for pregnant women to consume a balanced diet rich in iron from both animal and plant sources, including lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and dark leafy greens.

Iron supplementation may be necessary in cases where dietary intake alone is insufficient to meet the increased iron demands during pregnancy.


  1. McLean, E., Cogswell, M., Egli, I., Wojdyla, D., & de Benoist, B. (2009). Worldwide prevalence of anaemia, WHO Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System, 1993-2005. Public Health Nutrition, 12(4), 444-454.

  2. Stevens, G. A., Finucane, M. M., De-Regil, L. M., Paciorek, C. J., Flaxman, S. R., Branca, F., ... & Ezzati, M. (2013). Global, regional, and national trends in haemoglobin concentration and prevalence of total and severe anaemia in children and pregnant and non-pregnant women for 1995-2011: a systematic analysis of population-representative data. The Lancet Global Health, 1(1), e16-e25.

  3. Pavord, S., Myers, B., Robinson, S., Allard, S., Strong, J., & Oppenheimer, C. (2012). UK guidelines on the management of iron deficiency in pregnancy. British Journal of Haematology, 156(5), 588-600.

  4. Haider, B. A., Olofin, I., Wang, M., Spiegelman, D., Ezzati, M., & Fawzi, W. W. (2013). Anaemia, prenatal iron use, and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 346, f3443.

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