[Is systematic iron supplementation justified during pregnancy?]

Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2004 Mar;32(3):245-50. doi: 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2004.01.002.
[Article in French]


Considering that young women have a high risk of iron store deficiency, the iron supplementation is largely proposed during pregnancy. However, a selective supplementation reserved to anaemia women, must be preferred to a systematic supplementation which improves biological parameters of mothers but have no effect on newborns. Iron is a potentially toxic element and a not justified, supplementation could expose to high iron level and to an oxidative stress which is also observed in pregnancy pathologies (preeclamptia, gestational diabetes). Furthermore a non controlled increase of erythrocyte mass by iron supplementation could also alter the placenta exchange. As a precaution, iron supplementation may be reserved to anaemia women or with high anaemia risk. For others, nutritional advises must permit to reach iron recommendation.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena


  • Iron