Fewer iron supplements during pregnancy work just as well for preventing anemia, according to a new Cochrane review. This is nice news for pregnant women, who very often experience uncomfortable side effects such as nausea and constipation when they follow the recommendation to take the prenatal supplements everyday.
Lack of iron can cause anemia in pregnant women, potentially increasing the risk of complications at delivery. It may also be harmful to their babies, through increased risk of low birth weight and even delayed growth and development later in life. The researchers analyzed data from 18 trials involving a total of 4,072 pregnant women who took iron supplements alone, with folic acid or with multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. According to the results, women who took iron supplements once, twice or three times a week on non-consecutive days were no more likely to suffer from anemia by the end of their pregnancies than those who took them daily, and their babies were no more likely to be born early or have a low birth weight. See the study details.
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