02 May 2024 |

The importance of iron in pregnancy: benefits for mothers and babies

Pregnant women in many regions of the world are at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. Preventive strategies, such as iron integration and food education, are crucial to address this sensitive issue.

During the period of pregnancy, therefore, the mother is required to take a total additional gram of iron, especially in the last trimester, because it must satisfy not only their own organism, but also the proper development of the fetus. Iron, in fact, in addition to promoting the production of new red blood cells, is essential to the unborn child to ensure adequate birth weight and promote cognitive development. 1

Iron deficiency in pregnancy and during post-partum

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the status of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women who have a hemoglobin level (Hb) below 11 g/dl.2 Especially in the post-partum period, both iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are common and represent significant health problems in women of reproductive age.3
Let’s see why.

Iron deficiency anemia, when present, leads to prolonged hospitalization, a worsening of quality of life, emotional instability, and a higher likelihood of post-partum depression.4 In addition, iron deficiency has other manifestations, such as fatigue, loss of hair and tired legs.5

Please note that iron is essential for the proper functioning of our organism and foods rich in this such as red meat (turkey, horse, cattle), liver, spleen, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains and blue fish, can be useful, but in some cases, i.e. during pregnancy, it is necessary to support the diet with food supplements that can fill the increased organic needs of iron typical of pregnancy.

Suitable iron supplements in pregnancy generally also contain other nutrients that support the proper development of the fetus and promote normal erythropoiesis (formation of red blood cells) in the mother and unborn child. Among the most important nutrients:

  • Folic acid and folate, which promote maternal tissue growth during pregnancy and reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects in the fetus;
  • Vitamin B6, which promotes the proliferation of white and red blood cells;
  • Vitamin B12, which promotes the formation of new red blood cells;
  • Vitamin C, which promotes the absorption of iron in the intestine,
  • Vitamin D, which supports normal bone development and immune system.

In other words, iron supplements in pregnancy not only allow to maintain normal levels of iron in the body of the mother and child, but provide complete support for the growth and proper physical and cognitive development of the unborn child. Therefore, dietary supplementation is strongly recommended throughout the period of pregnancy. However, taking standard oral iron formulations could cause some adverse effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

SiderAL®:Sucrosomial® Technology to support your iron reserve during pregnancy

figura del sucrosoma - struttura del ferro sucrosomiale

Figura 1 – struttura del Ferro Sucrosomiale®

Recognized the important function of iron in pregnancy and the negative effects of supplements based on conventional iron salts on it, Pharmanutra has formulated an innovative formulation, which is called Sucrosomial® Technology, in which the iron pyrophosphate is protected by a matrix of phospholipids and sucrose esters of fatty acids, Sucrosome®  , that protects the mineral and helps it to cross through the stomach unaltered, thus easily reaching the intestines where it can be absorbed.

Sucrosomial® Iron, marketed with the range of products SiderAL®, has a different absorption profile than common iron products, thus avoiding the mineral to come into contact with the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Scientific evidence on the effectiveness of Sucrosomial® Iron in the post-partum period

Recently, an observational study6 was published with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness and safety of supplementation with Sucrosomial® Iron for a period of 60 days in women who had completed pregnancy. The 57 new mothers involved had been diagnosed with mild (Hb 9-11 g/dl) or moderate (Hb 7-9 g/dl) iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

The study design included the administration of Sucrosomial® Iron at a dosage of 30 mg daily for 60 days in women with mild IDA; while in women with moderate IDA, the dosage was 60 mg for the first 10 days and then 30 mg per day for the remaining 50 days of observation.

The results showed that Sucrosomial® Iron was found to be effective in increasing hemoglobin levels in both groups and 81% of the women recruited were no longer anemic at the end of supplementation with Sucrosomial® Iron.

It is important to note that the symptoms related to iron deficiency anemia were resolved already after 10 days from the start of supplementation with Sucrosomial® Iron. All participants in the study completed the treatment without the appearance of adverse effects gastroenteric.

In conclusion, Sucrosomial® Iron has proven effective and well tolerated in the management of iron deficiency in post-partum women. All this is made possible thanks to the innovative Sucrosomial® Technology, which allows the intake of iron at any time of the day (with or away from meals), for long periods of time, and prevents any discomfort commonly associated with iron intake, as a metallic and unpleasant aftertaste, irritation of the gastric mucosa, nausea or constipation, thus overcoming the limits related to conventional iron supplementation.



  1. Georgieff MK. Iron deficiency in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Oct;223(4):516-524. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.03.006. Epub 2020 Mar 14. PMID: 32184147; PMCID: PMC7492370.
  2. Cappellini MD, Musallam KM, Taher AT. Iron deficiency anaemia revisited. J Intern Med. 2020 Feb;287(2):153-170. doi: 10.1111/joim.13004. Epub 2019 Nov 12. PMID: 31665543.
  3. Muñoz M, et al.; Patient blood management in obstetrics: management of anaemia and haematinic deficiencies in pregnancy and in the post-partum period: NATA consensus statement. Tranfus Med. 2018;28(1):22–39.
  4. Milman N. Postpartum anaemia I: definition, prevalence, causes and consequences. Ann Hematol. 2011;90:1247–53.
  5. Pratt JJ, Khan KS. Non-anaemic iron deficiency – a disease looking for recognition of diagnosis: a systematic review. Eur J Haematol. 2016;96(6):618–28.
  6. Antoine E. et al.; Sucrosomial® iron effectiveness in recovering from mild and moderate iron-deficiency anemia in the postpartum period. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2023 May 17;23(1):360. doi: 10.1186/s12884-023-05658-7. PMID: 37198549; PMCID: PMC10190002.

anemia Carenza di ferro gravidanza integratori minerali salute sucrosomiale