Relationship between newborn and maternal iron status and haematological indices

Biol Neonate. 1991;60(5):303-7. doi: 10.1159/000243421.


The haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, haematocrit, serum iron and total iron binding capacity, and serum ferritin concentrations in umbilical cord blood samples taken from 96 appropriate-for-gestational age infants delivered at term were measured and compared to the respective maternal values measured at 36 weeks' gestation. All the values were higher in cord blood. Only maternal mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin were correlated with cord serum iron. Cord blood haematological indices were not correlated with either gestation at delivery or birth weight. However, newborn serum ferritin was positively correlated with gestation at delivery, while the maternal:newborn ferritin ratio was inversely correlated with gestation and birth weight. The results suggest that maternal haematological and iron indices are not predictive of the haemoglobin or iron status of the newborn, and that the fetus continues to take up iron from the mother until delivery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / etiology
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Hematologic Tests*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Iron / blood*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pregnancy


  • Iron