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Summary:

  • 1
    Haemoglobin and haematocrit values of 174 healthy primigravidae and secundigravidae on adequate diets were studied.
  • 2
    Haemoglobin and haematocrit levels were unrelated to dietary iron intake.
  • 3
    There was no significant difference in haemoglobin and haematocrit values of primigravidae and secundigravidae.
  • 4
    None of the women developed anaemia (haemoglobin below 10 gm./100 ml.)
  • 5
    The value of iron supplementation on maternal haemoglobin and haematocrit values could not be demonstrated, although the iron supplemented group had significantly higher haemoglobin values in the third trimester and on the fifth day after delivery than the unsupplemented group. This was no longer apparent six weeks and three months after delivery.
  • 6
    Maternal iron supplementation had no effect on the cord haemoglobin levels and those of the offspring six weeks, three months, and six months post-natally.