Serum iron, total iron binding capacity and serum ferritin, together with haemoglobin concentration and red cell indices were measured on cord blood from 201 neonates and their mothers at delivery.
Of the mothers, we classified 10 [5%] as having iron deficiency anaemia. The haemoglobin concentration and MCV were higher in the neonates than in their mothers but the MCHC was no different. Serum iron was much higher and total iron binding capacity much lower in the babies whose transferrin saturation was 72% compared with 14% for their mothers. There was a weak relationship between maternal and neonatal haemoglobin concentration and a direct relationship between fetal and maternal serum iron, but no relationship between maternal and fetal serum ferritin concentrations. It is suggested that it is the fetus which largely controls the movement of iron across the placenta with only a little control exerted by maternal serum iron level, and that cord ferritin is not a good indicator of fetal iron stores
L. Hawa ,
Hemoglobin and iron status in mothers and their babies at delivery,
Saudi Med. J. 1993;
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