Anna J. Cox

Publication Date

Spring 4-26-2016


School of Nursing


Nursing (B.S.N.)


Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), Iron Deficiency (ID), Pregnancy, Prematurity, Low Birth Weight, Iron Supplementation


Medical Nutrition | Nutrition | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Preventive Medicine | Public Health and Community Nursing


Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a condition that occurs in both underdeveloped and developed countries worldwide. This disorder is diagnosed in an individual who presents the common signs and symptoms of anemia along with consistently low clinical markers of stored iron. Iron deficiency (ID) usually precedes a diagnosis of IDA as the insufficient amount of iron often goes undetected until one’s quality of life is diminished. Certain populations, such as women who are pregnant or of reproductive age, are particularly at risk for ID and the development of IDA. During pregnancy, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron is greater to assist a woman’s body in providing for fetal growth and development. The reticuloendothelial system, as well as iron-rich foods, iron-fortified foods, and iron supplementation are sources necessary to maintain adequate iron levels stored and circulating in the body. Iron supplementation, which comes in various forms, is widely utilized, particularly for pregnant women with IDA. Research has found that fetal growth and newborn development can be negatively affected by ID and IDA, especially without iron supplementation before or during the prenatal period.