Can taking ferrous sulfate prevent anemia in pregnant women?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Many women are prescribed to take a ferrous sulfate iron supplement along with their prenatal vitamin when they have been diagnosed with iron deficient anemia. This diagnosis is made by a blood test. Taking additional iron other than your prenatal vitamin and what you are receiving from your diet should not be done without the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Your midwife or ob/gyn will tell you the appropriate dosing of your iron supplementation based on the level of iron in your blood and how much you need to correct and or treat your anemia. Discuss any medication including over the counter drugs with your health care provider before taking, especially during pregnancy.

Yes, ferrous sulfate can prevent anemia in people who have iron deficiencies. More than half the world’s pregnant women may have iron deficiencies and thus are at high risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. This anemia results in reduced production of hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying molecule in red blood cells), thus leading to decreased oxygen available to all the tissues. This can cause premature deliveries and low birth weights. You and your doctor should discuss the proper dose of ferrous sulfate for you.

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