This study focused at assessing the iron status of the pregnant women as well as determining some factors that predispose them to have poor iron status in the various trimesters of pregnancy.
A total of 250 pregnant women (150 non-anaemic and 100 aneamic) grouped in their various trimesters between the ages of 18-40 years were selected from Federal Medical Centre and General Hospital, Owerri for the study. The iron status was assessed by measuring the haemoglobin using WHO standard procedure. Pretested questionnaire was used to elicit information on possible predisposing factors such as skipping of meals, intake of supplements. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 22, and statistic analysis carried out with chi-square with significant level P=0.05.
The results showed that the overall mean haemoglobin level was 12.43±1.18mg/dl, and 12.4±1.1mg/dl, 12.8±1.4gm/dl and 12.1±1.8mg/dl for 20.0%, 37.0% and 43.0% of the pregnant women in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy in that order. The associations between the predisposing factors of low iron status and the various trimesters of anaemic pregnant women were only significant and highest in those that did not take supplements in the 1st trimester (X2=13.344; P<0.05;df=2), but there were no significant differences between malaria parasite status (x2=0.859,P>0.05;df=6), number of meal intake per day (X2=3.549,P>0.05;df=6), frequency of intake of supplements (x2=7.56,P>0.05;df=6) and the various trimesters.
The iron status of the pregnant woman was moderately adequate but lowest in the 3rd trimester. Low Intakes of supplements observed during the 1st trimester were associated with anaemia in pregnancy.