e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Iron or iron/folic acid supplementation to prevent anaemia in postpartum women

Iron deficiency and anaemia are important public health problems worldwide, particularly among women of reproductive age. The consequences of iron deficiency and anaemia during the postpartum period (six weeks after child birth) can be serious and have long-term health implications for the mother and her child.

WHO recommends intermittent iron and folic acid supplementation as a public health intervention for menstruating women living in settings where anaemia is highly prevalent. In the postpartum period, iron supplementation, either alone or in combination with folic acid, may reduce the risk of anaemia by improving the iron status of the mother.

Results from a systematic review of the benefits or harms of this intervention in postpartum women will inform policy-making and assist in the development of WHO recommendations.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available


Related Cochrane reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

25 March 2014 13:33 CET

Category 3 intervention

Available evidence is limited and there are no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee