What You Should Know About Postpartum Iron Deficiency


Susan Fishman

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Female doctor talking to a pregnant woman

When you were pregnant, your doctor most likely recommended that you have your iron levels tested. Pregnancy increases your body’s demand for iron, putting you at risk for iron deficiency, which can sometimes lead to iron-deficiency anemia. This is when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce a chemical called hemoglobin, which it needs to make red blood cells that deliver oxygen to your entire body.

But even after pregnancy, your iron stores may be deficient, or lower than they should be. This could be due to heavy bleeding during delivery or having multiple births, which requires more nutrients from the body. Iron deficiency can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months after giving birth.

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. Learn these interesting facts about the condition.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Oct 4, 2017

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