Introduction: HEMOGLOBIN (Hb) levels in fetus increase with progression of pregnancy, reaching highest levels in life. Hb serves as iron reserve in fetus and is needed for the infant to adapt with anemia. Many factors can decrease Hb levels at birth and lead to accelerated physiological anemia. Hence, the infant would require earlier administration of iron drops. Identification of these factors and immediate management is essential to child health. This study was performed to compare mean Hb levels in cord blood of neonate subjects with corresponding levels cited in Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics and their relationship, with, maternal Hb and delivery pattern.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, cord blood samples taken from 502 newborns in six months were evaluated. Simple sampling method was used. Premature neonates and those with low birth weight and high-risk deliveries were excluded. Data were analyzed with t-test using SPSS.
Results: The mean Hb level of the studied group was 13.24±1.77 g/dl, which was significantly lower than corresponding parameters cited Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics (P value=0.000). Also, there was a significant, and direct correlation between Hb of umbilical cord blood'1 and maternal Hb and pattern of delivery. Hb levels in the umbilical cord blood of newborns delivered by cesarean section were lower than Hb levels of those with normal delivery.
Conclusions: The results of this study show that Hb levels of cord blood in the studied population are lower than values cited in Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics; this is in direct relationship with low levels of maternal Hb which we studied for comparison with values cited in Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics (11.7 g/dl vs. 14 g/dl). Thus, newborn infants in our study (especially cesarean section newborns) are at greater risk of early and accelerated physiological anemia. Therefore we recommend further efforts to improve maternal nutrition before and during the gestational period, prescription of iron tablets, encouraging normal vaginal delivery, and early initiation of iron drops in the first few months of infancy.