The Truth About Ferritin & Pregnancy

In pregnancy, ferritin >30 ug/L is not evidence based and >40 ug/L increases the risk of spontaneous pre-term birth.

Let’s take a closer look.

I’m the first the understand that correlation does not equal causation and I am sick and tired of ferritin being used as the barometer of your iron status, especially in pregnancy.

A gradual decline in your lab numbers are a normal part of pregnancy and if we understood hemodilution, the mechanisms of increased absorption and how to optimize haemoglobin, then we wouldn’t be seeing statistics that represent a “significant global health problem, with 38.2% of women worldwide affected.”

True iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia must be treated, but most women I work with are being examined against references ranges from a standard adult population. The references ranges are not specific to women and are in no way reflective of pregnancy. Is that not just insane?

Surprised? What have you been told your ferritin should be?

Learn more in my Understanding Low Iron masterclass. It’s not just for pregnancy, it’s for anyone who is yet to understand and treat the root cause of their low iron.


Daru J, Allotey J, Peña-Rosas JP, Khan KS. Serum ferritin thresholds for the diagnosis of iron deficiency in pregnancy: a systematic review. Transfus Med. 2017;27(3):167-174. doi:10.1111/tme.12408

Klajnbard A, Szecsi PB, Colov NP, et al. Laboratory reference intervals during pregnancy, delivery and the early postpartum period. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2010;48(2):237-248. doi:10.1515/CCLM.2010.033

Khambalia AZ, Aimone A, Nagubandi P, et al. High maternal iron status, dietary iron intake and iron supplement use in pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective study and systematic review. Diabet Med. 2016;33(9):1211-1221. doi:10.1111/dme.13056

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