Anemia in pregnancy

Clin Lab Med. 2013 Jun;33(2):281-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2013.03.016. Epub 2013 Apr 19.


Hemodynamic changes occur in pregnancy to prepare for expected blood loss at delivery. Physiologic anemia occurs in pregnancy because plasma volume increases more quickly than red cell mass. Anemia is most commonly classified as microcytic, normocytic, or macrocytic. Iron deficiency anemia accounts for 75% of all anemias in pregnancy. Oral iron supplementation is the recommended treatment of iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy. Parenteral iron and erythropoietin can also be used in severe or refractory cases. Outcomes and treatments for other forms of inherited and acquired anemias in pregnancy vary by disease, and include nutritional supplementation, corticosteroids, supportive transfusions, and splenectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic*