Effect of maternal anaemia on birth weight of term babies


  • Mohandas Nair Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Gireesh S. Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Rubeena Yakoob Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Cheriyan N. C. Department of Pediatrics, KMCT Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India




Birth weight, Head circumference, Length, Maternal anemia, SGA


Background: Low birth weight is the major determinant of mortality, morbidity and disability in infancy and childhood and has a long-term impact on health outcome in adult life. The objectives of this study were to study the relationship between maternal anemia and birth weight of babies and to study anthropometric measures of babies born to anemic and non-anemic mothers and to correlate the timing of anemia with birth weight of babies.

Methods: Term babies born in Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Government Medical College, Kozhikode from November 2014 to October 2016 fulfilling the criteria were divided into 2 groups, cases (term babies with birth weight <2500g) and controls (term babies with weight >2500g) and studied and their maternal hemoglobin values were compared.

Results: Maternal anaemia in all three trimesters was found to be more in cases compared to controls. Mean 1st trimester hemoglobin of cases was 10.68 g/dl which was significantly lower when compared to controls. Mean 2nd trimester hemoglobin of cases was 10.36 g/dl compared to 11.47 g/dl in controls. Mean 3rd trimester hemoglobin of cases was 10.42 g/dl which was also significantly lower compared to 11.32 g/dl in controls. SGA babies were also found to be more in cases, 89%, compared to 18% in controls. The difference in head circumference between two groups was not statistically significant. Mean length of babies were higher in controls compared to cases. Mothers with anemia at any time during pregnancy was found to have 4.3 times higher risk of giving birth to low birth weight babies compared to non-anemic mothers

Conclusion: Anemia during pregnancy is a risk factor for low birth weight and SGA, independent of the trimester. Length of babies born to anaemic mothers is also low. But it does not have a significant effect on head circumference of babies.

Author Biography

Cheriyan N. C., Department of Pediatrics, KMCT Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India




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Original Research Articles