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[Iron deficiency in the pregnant woman. Its repercussions on the newborn. The influence of systematic iron treatment (author's transl)].

[Article in French]


We have studied the haematological and iron state of 203 women from the sixth month of pregnancy till two months after delivery, and of their newborn from birth to the age of two months. Iron deficiency affects more than a third of women with a higher risk for multipara and for immigrants. The only sure way of screening for this is by estimating the plasma ferritin. When iron was given routinely as a supplement we found that the tissue reserves of iron rose from the third trimester onwards and two months later were entirely normal in treated women, but an iron deficiency persisted in women who were not treated. The transfer of iron to the fetus in the third trimester of pregnancy is related to the quantity of iron given to the mother in her diet. The iron reserves in the tissues of these children were higher at two months of age when the mothers had been treated with iron during the pregnancy. The value of estimating ferritin in the blood as an indicator of tissue reserves should be considered in the neo-natal period.

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