Barbara Graves received her master's of public health degree from Boston University School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts and her midwifery education at Emory University. She is the Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, and continues in active clinical practice. Ms. Graves is an editorial consultant for the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health.
A “CONSERVATIVE” APPROACH TO IRON SUPPLEMENTATION DURING PREGNANCY
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2001 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 159–166, May-June 2001
How to Cite
Graves, B. W. and Barger, M. K. (2001), A “CONSERVATIVE” APPROACH TO IRON SUPPLEMENTATION DURING PREGNANCY. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 46: 159–166. doi: 10.1016/S1526-9523(01)00118-0
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
A review of current knowledge about iron metabolism during pregnancy and the evidence from various studies on the effects of iron supplementation in pregnancy on maternal, fetal, and infant outcomes suggest that the implicit goal of current recommendations regarding iron supplementation may be to achieve the highest hemoglobin concentration possible. This goal is only weakly related to improved maternal and infant outcomes in the current pregnancy or to improved maternal iron stores long-term. Indeed, the claim that iron supplementation is universally innocuous is shown to be controversial. For women in developed countries who are generally clinically healthy and have access to adequate nutrition, the benefits of iron supplementation are unclear, and there may be risks. Thus, a better “conservative” approach may be that such women do not require routine iron supplementation during pregnancy. The midwifery philosophy of individualizing care based on a woman's history and health status is one that should be taken in approaching the issue of iron supplementation in pregnancy.