Have we forgotten the significance of postpartum iron deficiency?

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;193(1):36-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2004.12.009.


The postpartum period is conventionally thought to be the time of lowest iron deficiency risk because iron status is expected to improve dramatically after delivery. Nonetheless, recent studies have reported a high prevalence of postpartum iron deficiency and anemia among ethnically diverse low-income populations in the United States. In light of the recent emergence of this problem in the medical literature, we discuss updated findings on postpartum iron deficiency, including its prevalence, functional consequences, risk factors, and recommended primary and secondary prevention strategies. The productivity and cognitive gains made possible by improving iron nutriture support intervention. We therefore conclude that postpartum iron deficiency warrants greater attention and higher quality care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Cognition
  • Deficiency Diseases / physiopathology
  • Deficiency Diseases / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiopathology
  • Iron Deficiencies*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prevalence
  • Puerperal Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Puerperal Disorders / physiopathology
  • Puerperal Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Puerperal Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Work Capacity Evaluation