Risk of infant anemia in 3-6 months old babies and its association with maternal anemia

J. Hemachitra, A. Monisha


Background: Anemia is a significant health problem in developing countries. Maternal anemia reduces fetal iron stores prior to birth and hence babies born to anemic mothers tend to develop iron deficiency anemia before 6 months which has adverse psychomotor consequences. Objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of anemia and weight gain pattern in 3 - 6 months old term exclusively breast-fed infants and its association with maternal anemia.

Methods: This is a cross - sectional analytical study including 120 babies who are born as term appropriate for gestational age. Preterm and babies with history of bleed or jaundice were excluded from the study. The haemoglobin estimation and weights of these babies was measured after informed consent from parents. Maternal haemoglobin concentration during last trimester was obtained from the maternal records.

Results: Seventy-nine (65.8%) out of 120 babies had haemoglobin concentration <11gm/dl, which was significantly associated with maternal anemia (p <0.004, OR 5.9). Thirty-seven (30.8%) babies had low weight for age and were born to anemic mothers and 28% of this variation in weight was contributed by maternal anemia (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Low haemoglobin and poor weight gain in term 3-6 months old babies are significantly associated with maternal anemia in last trimester.


Anemia, Breast fed, Infants, Maternal anemia, Term

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