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Why Iron Intake is so important during pregnancy and during the first year of life.

Dr Georgieff was one of the lead authors of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 Guideline recommending to supplement all infants at 4 months of age with liquid iron, for breast-fed and formula-fed infants, with 1 mg/kg of infant’s weight per day (= 0.5 mg/lb). Iron-deficiency during pregnancy and in the early months of life can severely affect brain development, resulting in increased risk of autism and ADHD, among others.

During the early stage of pregnancy, maternal available iron, reaching the fetus through the placenta, is necessary for proper fetal brain development, and should be tested by a blood test of Ferritin. Low ferritin levels need to be aggressively treated by supplementation, even by intravenous perfusion in some cases. Anemia, detected by a CBC, is a late sign of profound iron deficiency resulting in low stores of iron in the newborn.


Please watch Dr. Georgieff very instructive videos on this extremely important topic.


Answers from Michael K Georgie’s, MD to common questions from parents and caregivers about iron intake during pregnancy and in infants.


Michael K. Georgieff, MD, is the Martin Lenz Harrison Land Grant Chair in Pediatrics and a Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Developmental psychology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. He is Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Georgieff received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed his internship and residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was awarded fellowships in neonatology by Children’s Hospital and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The focus of Dr. Georgieff’s research is on fetal-neonatal nutrition and brain development, specifically the effect of early life iron nutrition and neurocognitive function. For the past 25 years, his research has been continuously funded in this field by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Georgieff’s clinical interests include iron and infant development, and maternal-fetal medicine.

Dr. Georgieff is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for research, teaching, and public service including the Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is an advisor on nutrition and early childhood development to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health, and UNICEF, and he is a frequently invited speaker at national and international conferences. Dr. Georgieff has published more than 250 scientific articles, and he is a reviewer for a number of prestigious medical journals including Pediatrics, the Journal of Pediatrics, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

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