BookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxFilledCheckBoxCircleBumpCheckedFilledMedical

There May Be a New Way to Monitor Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy

And the best part—it’s super-easy to do.
save article
profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
By Stephanie Grassullo, Contributing Writer
Published August 30, 2019
pregnant woman touches her belly at home
Image: Raw Pixel

Iron deficiency is a common problem for many women during pregnancy, but, more often than not, it goes unrecognized and untreated. If not treated, iron deficiency may lead to serious health consequences, including anemia, early labor, low birth weight and long-term developmental issues for the child. Researchers at St. Michael’s say they’ve come up with a solution, or rather a toolkit, that may help.

To enhance the screening and management of iron deficiency during pregnancy, they’ve developed a toolkit called IRON MOM. IRON Deficiency in Pregnancy with Maternal Iron OptiMization (IRON MOM) is a paper-based toolkit that includes clinical pathways and educational resources to guide clinicians and expectant mothers through diagnosis and management of iron deficiency. The research is published in PLOS Medicine, and compares rates of ferritin testing, a blood cell protein that contains iron, in the obstetric clinics at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital before and after the implementation of the IRON MOM toolkit. Ferritin tests help obstetricians understand how much iron is being stored in the body.

IRON MOM is designed to provide guidance and help women feel empowered to speak out to their doctors to ensure they’re receiving enough iron, according to Michelle Sholzberg, co-lead author of the study and a hematologist at St. Michael’s.

Just one year after the toolkit was implemented, the team found an almost 10 times increase in the average monthly rate of ferritin testing in the obstetric clinics at St. Michael’s. That’s not all. They also found a significant decrease in the risk of anemia, a condition in which the body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues, and those who required blood transfusions before and after pregnancy to improve their red blood cell count. “IRON MOM demonstrated that priority setting and simple process changes in patient management can have a large impact on key clinical outcomes,” says Jameel Abdulrehman, MD, co-lead author of the study.

The researchers say these results provide support for expanding IRON MOM into other clinics and institutions, and are currently working on the development of an IRON MOM smartphone app that would make the toolkit available to all women and clinicians in Canada.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

pregnant woman applying lotion to belly
How Your Pregnant Belly Will Change During Each Trimester
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamins-hero
How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamins
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
best belly bands-hero
9 Best Pregnancy Belly Bands to Support Your Baby Bump
By Lynsey Eidell
ADVERTISEMENT
close up of pregnant woman's belly with stretch marks
Can You Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks? Here’s the Deal
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
pregnant woman fixing bra
8 Ways Breasts Change During Pregnancy
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
pregnant woman holding a glass of water near belly
How to Treat a UTI During Pregnancy
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
Prenatal Vitamins: Benefits and Side Effects
Prenatal Vitamins: Benefits and Side Effects
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
ADVERTISEMENT
Say Ahh: Why Going to the Dentist While Pregnant Is So Important
Say Ahh: Why Going to the Dentist While Pregnant Is So Important
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
woman putting on compression socks
The Best Compression Socks for Pregnancy
By Danielle Halibey
close up of bare pregnant belly
Body Dysmorphia in Pregnancy: How to Combat Negative Body Image
By Lauren Barth
ADVERTISEMENT
bio oil
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Body Oil
By The Bump Editors
earth mama mineral sunscreen
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen
By The Bump Editors
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 51
Best of Pregnancy Winner: Reader’s Favorite Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen
By The Bump Editors
ADVERTISEMENT
Best of Pregnancy: Juice Beauty Pregnancy Skincare
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Brand
By The Bump Editors
Honest Me Moment Soaking Salts
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Pregnancy Bath Salts
By The Bump Editors
Best of pregnancy: Pink Stork morning sickness sweets
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Morning Sickness Relief
By The Bump Editors
Mama Mio tummy rub butter
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Belly Butter
By The Bump Editors
ADVERTISEMENT
Best of Pregnancy: Beauty Counter mascara
Best of Pregnancy Winner for Best Pregnancy-Safe Makeup Brand
By The Bump Editors
close up of sun shining on pregnant belly with dark background
PSA for Expectant Moms: What I Learned From My Second Pregnancy
By Adriana Quaranto
Model and influencer Hunter McGrady welcomes her first baby.
Hunter McGrady on Misconceptions Around Pregnancy for Plus-Size Women
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.