Anemia | Complications


What problems can iron deficiency anemia cause in my child?

Iron deficiency anemia can cause your infant or toddler to have mental, motor or behavior problems. These problems can be long lasting even after treatment fixes the anemia.

What problems does anemia cause during pregnancy?

If anemia isn’t treated, it can increase your risk of having your baby too early or having a baby who doesn’t weigh enough. You’ll also be at risk of needing a blood transfusion if you lose a lot of blood during delivery. Anemia may also be associated with postpartum depression (depression after delivery) in new mothers.

Rarely, mothers who have severe iron-deficiency anemia may pass along problems associated with low iron to their babies. This can lead to growth problems and mental delays. However, developing babies usually take as much iron as they need from their mothers. Getting treatment for your iron-deficiency anemia can almost always prevent these problems.

Can iron pills cause problems?

Iron pills can cause stomach upset, heartburn and constipation. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you take extra iron pills or vitamins. Lack of iron in your diet may not be the cause of your anemia and too much iron is not good for you. If your doctor prescribes iron supplements, be sure to tell your doctor about any discomfort you notice.


See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/96